North Carolina Tribe Ready for Sports Betting

The sportsbook is built. Caesars is ready to open for business. But the Cherokee Tribe awaits the signature of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (l.) on the completed compacts before sports betting can be activated in the state. The Cherokees operate casinos under the Harrah’s brand.

North Carolina Tribe Ready for Sports Betting

It’s been more than a year since North Carolina passed a sports betting bill, yet there hasn’t been a single wager. But it’s getting close, as the Cherokee tribe awaits approval by Governor Roy Cooper, who has to sign the tribal compacts.

Once that happens, Caesars sportsbooks will open at two Cherokee owned casinos: Harrah’s in Murphy and Harrah’s in Cherokee.

Unlike commercial casinos, tribes need to go through more steps to launch: approval from their tribal government and approval from the state.

“The legislature passed the legislation to allow for sports betting on tribal land and it was signed by the Governor. However, the second part of the process is under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act where we have to negotiate the compact to add sports betting which we thought would be a very short process…For whatever reason, it has turned into this big, long drawn out process that’s coming up on a year,” Sneed told

The ball is now in Cooper’s court, as everything has been ironed out on the tribal end of the process.

Caesars Entertainment, the sportsbook operator chosen by the Cherokees, is ready to go immediately after the compact is signed. Construction is complete.

“My hope is that he (the governor) will sign it by sometime next week but that’s entirely up to him, I don’t have any say on the matter. We had hoped to have been open already,” said Sneed.