The state of North Carolina is certainly not too well-known for its gambling options. It does, however, offer a small selection of casinos; all of which are owned by Native American tribes and operated by larger corporations. The most notable Native American tribe responsible for gambling in North Carolina are the Cherokee Indians. They own the only two full casino resorts in the state, which are both “Harrah’s Cherokee” properties. While the casinos here were originally bingo halls and later featured a few electronic games, today they are full resort-style casinos.
There are a few different forms of gambling which are currently legal in North Carolina. Before delving further into the types of casinos that are located here, we’ll quickly go over the different forms of legal gambling available in North Carolina. These options include the North Carolina Education Lottery, Indian Casinos, charitable bingo and raffles, and low-steaks bingo. The most popular of these options is certainly the Indian Casinos, which offer full-fledged gaming in addition to a hotel resort. These casinos are most comparable to the popular options found in places like Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Reno.
Bingo halls are also a somewhat popular option, especially for local senior citizens, while the lottery system is a fairly standard program offering scratch-off tickets and lottery games through the state. Most of the revenue generated from all three of these programs goes directly back into state education system. Today, far and away the most popular gambling destinations in the state are the Indian Casinos.
As of 2016, there is a total of two Indian Casinos located in North Carolina, both of which are operated by Caesar’s Entertainment and owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Harrah’s Cherokee is located in Cherokee, NC while Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River is located in the town of Murphy. Both casinos feature table games, slots and video poker.
Each of the two casinos here offer full casinos in addition to large hotels and resorts. This means you are not only able to visit, but can also stay here and enjoy the many amenities associated with the resort. The casino floors located at each property have very little restrictions, meaning they offer all the usual games including Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Pai Gow etc.
All full-gaming casinos within the state are operated by Harrah’s properties (Caesar’s Entertainment) which are run on behalf of the Cherokee Native American tribe. This is beneficial, especially if you are a Total Rewards member, as you will generally be able to get comped rooms and earn reward credits while playing here. If visiting any of the casinos in North Carolina, it may be beneficial to sign up for a player’s card if you don’t already have one because Caesar’s owns many properties across the country. This means you can acquire/use comp dollars and other benefits at any of their properties.
The history of Gambling in North Carolina can be traced back to long before the United States existed as it does today. As early as the mid-18th century, laws similar to those in England were enacted and enforced, which enabled a few forms of gambling, but discourage excessive gambling. The laws here did not change too much until 1791 when most games were flat out banned. Flash forward to 1982, and high-steaks bingo games were made legal and began being offered. This would pave the way for the large casino-resorts we know and love today.
In 1994 an agreement was reached between the Cherokee Indians and the governor at the time which authorized the construction of a casino that would be able to offer a limited selection of electronic games. The casino officially opened in 1997, and Harrah’s Cherokee was born. For the time being, they would only be able to offer a small number of electronic games. The number and variety of games here slowly expanded over the next decade. It wasn’t until 2012 when new terms were negotiated that would allow table games to be offered at the casino.
Until very recently, there was only one Indian Casino available in the state; Harrah’s Cherokee. Harrah’s Cherokee is located within a quiet and peaceful area in the Great Smoky Mountains region. It wasn’t until September 2015 when Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino was opened in Murphy, NC. The Valley River property was opened as a “sister” casino to the original Harrah’s Cherokee. Today, both options are popular to those passing through, and have also become popular vacation destinations for local North Carolina residents.
– In North Carolina, you must be 21 years of age to gamble at casinos.
– In North Carolina, you must be 21 to drink or buy alcohol at casinos.
– Though drinks (alcoholic or otherwise) at most casinos here are free, tipping the waiter/waitress is a common courtesy.
– Smoking is permitted in most casinos, though it is important to be wary of all marked non-smoking areas.