While several college programs have taken evolutionary leaps forward in producing quality football, the same cannot be said of laws on betting in North Carolina. The state’s prevailing gambling laws harken back to the original “Blue Laws” of the early 18th century, though things have loosened up slightly since those days. Wagering on poker, horse racing and sports is still disallowed, though Native American-operated casinos, a state lottery and daily fantasy football may be bet upon in North Carolina.
Betting in North Carolina
Change to social mores comes slowly in North Carolina – hell, even into 2017, the state still observes Confederate Memorial Day and Confederate Flag Day, and don’t even get a progressive started on bathrooms. Stubborn determination to hang on to the 19th century just a wee bit longer nearly cost Charlotte some lucrative NBA money.
Legal betting in North Carolina, of tenuous status since day one of colonization, went nearly extinct in 1791. Wagering on table and card games was banned again in 1791. So-called “Blue Laws”, very puritanical rules on vice, were put into place. Excepting the occasional lottery in the early 19th century, no legal betting would be seen in North Carolina for 150-plus years thereafter.
Regulations for bingo only came into North Carolina state law in 1979; at that time, lawmakers enacted a statewide law on bingo which limited prizes to *$10*. Naturally, North Carolina’s federally recognized tribe of Cherokee saw the opportunity inherent in this law as well as certain federal laws and thus opened a bingo parlor on reservation land. And whoa, did they start with a bang: in June 1983, the Cherokees held what was at that time though to be the biggest bingo event of all-time. At $500 a pop, about 3,000 players vied for over $1 million in cash and prizes.
A brief flirtation with the allowance of electronic video poker games at bars and other sites ended in 2007 with these machines’ banning. In that halcyon period for DFS betting of 2013-15, North Carolina state legislators toyed with several ideas from firewalling on down to address the legality of daily fantasy sports to its citizens before finally acquiescing after New York state attorneys settled their landmark case agsinst daily fantasy football site providers.
Football in North Carolina
It all starts at the top, right?
According to the 2010 census, Charlotte was the 17th largest U.S. city by population at 731,424, a whopping 28% increase over 2000 and a crazy 54%-plus since 1990. Put simply, Charlotte has become a major-league town over the past three decades, and the rewarding of one of the last two NFL expansion franchises is the clinching proof of that.
(The Carolina Panthers and Hurricanes are two of the four franchises in North America’s “big four” sports leagues that is named for an unofficially-recognized geographical area. What are the other two?)
The Panthers’ have enjoyed a more charmed existence than that of their fellow expansionists, the Jacksonville Jaguars. In their second year of play, the Panthers ascended to the NFC championship game and have appeared in two Super Bowls – the Nipplegate Bowl and the Papa John’s Peyton Manning Bowl Sponsored By Budweiser.
As for the college game, well, let’s just acknowledge that schools such as UNC and North Carolina State are no longer merely basketball powerhouses – though to be fair, both need to take the next step after registering on the national radar. With the expanded bowl slate of the 21st century, the North Carolina Tar Heels are regular bowl game invitees but are just 2-7 since their stunning Peach Bowl victory over Auburn back in 2001.
The Tar Heels’ rivals, the NC State Wolfpack, have fared a little better, going 8-4 in bowl games since 2000. Peaks in NC State history include the 2003 Gator Bowl thumping of Notre Dame, chased the following season with a Tangerine Bowl win in a shootout over Kansas.
As for Duke … well, they’re still waiting for their own Coach K.
Finally, no rundown of college football fan in North Carolina would be complete without note of the Appalachian State Mountaineers, three-time Division I-AA/FCS champions from 2005 to ’07.Second division or no, the 2007 Mountaineers were good enough to pull off what Sports Illustrated would call “the mother of all upsets” when they took out the no. 5 ranked Michigan Wolverines in week 1 in Ann Arbor. The upset is still the largest in NCAA football history and the Mountaineers’ titles are the only national college championships taken by a North Carolina football team.
Betting on Football in North Carolina
The only legal betting on football in North Carolina as of 2018 is on daily fantasy football. Since state legislators on both sides of the aisle are still mindful of the video poker debacle in the 1990s, all parties will certainly want to tread lightly on gambling law in the 2020s.
On the other hand, North Carolina’s lawmakers may be facing the same reality as those of certain other fairly hardline states, likesay, Tennessee. If the NFL backs betting on its games, how will a state hosting a pro football franchise disallow it? Wait and see…