On the heels of legalizing statewide sports betting in 2022, North Carolina may soon expand its gaming landscape even further. According to a new poll, most registered voters support authorizing commercial casinos within the state.

The survey was conducted by Raleigh-based Meredith College among 760 North Carolina residents last month. It examined several policy issues likely to arise when the General Assembly reconvenes in April, including the prospect of regulated commercial casino gambling.

Majority Backs Allowing NC Commercial Casinos

Per the poll, 57% of voters voiced support for introducing commercially owned casinos overseen by North Carolina’s gaming commission. Backing was especially strong among those who were “strongly in favor” at 24%.

Opposition totaled 35%, though only 19% were staunchly against the idea. 8% remained undecided.

After legal sports betting cleared the legislature last summer, some leaders proposed adding up to four casinos in central and eastern locales. That specific bill stalled, but expectations are high for revived consideration in 2024.

Currently, the state hosts just three casinos run by Native American tribes in western regions. But four new large-scale properties recently debuted across the nearby Virginia border as well.

Widespread Demographic Support Across NC

Legalizing commercial casinos enjoys sweeping demographic appeal statewide, not isolated to particular voter groups.

Among political affiliations, support reaches:

  • 60.5% of Democrats
  • 54.9% of Republicans
  • 53% of Independent voters

And most ethnic segments also show majority backing:

  • 56.2% of White voters
  • 52.3% of Black voters
  • 50.1% of Hispanic/Latino voters
  • 54.6% of Asian / Pacific Islander voters

All age brackets within the survey backed the idea too, led by those aged 41-56 at 60.4%.

This overwhelmingly positive public reception suggests most North Carolinians have embraced gaming’s ongoing expansion and inevitability nationwide in some form.

How Gaming Has Evolved in North Carolina

Gaming preferences have undoubtedly shifted as lottery, casino, and now sports betting options spread across the U.S. gambling landscape.

North Carolina itself just launched legal sportsbooks in 2023 after a yearslong legislative process. And with casinos now thriving in neighboring Virginia, residents have also grown accustomed to conveniently accessing casino-style offerings right near state lines.

That familiarity appears to fuel openness to allowing regulated casinos rather than unregulated “gray market” gaming elements. And the state may also recognize potential tax revenue benefits from a controlled casino industry.

Last year, a legislative push to allow four North Carolina casinos by 2024 passed the state Senate before ultimately stalling. The failed bill would have permitted:

  • One Lumbee tribal casino
  • Three commercially owned casinos

Areas like Anson, Nash, and Rockingham counties were targeted for the commercial licenses.

Despite that setback, the overwhelmingly positive polling numbers suggest lawmakers could revive a North Carolina casino act as soon as 2024.

With sports betting launching March 11th and other gaming verticals possibly on the horizon thereafter, the state appears poised to become a true gambling destination for Southern bettors and tourists alike.

Stay with NCWager.com for continued coverage of North Carolina’s gaming landscape expansion, plus the best promos across NC sportsbooks as launch day nears!

✅ Fact Checked on February 16, 2024 by Ken Weaver