HomeDaily Fantasy Sports in North Carolina

Daily Fantasy Sports in North Carolina

Throughout this article, you’ll learn about the ins and outs of daily fantasy sports in North Carolina. From how to get started, to our expert tips for beginners, this page has you covered.

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Yes, playing Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is legal in North Carolina. The state classifies DFS as games of skill rather than gambling, which primarily hinges on chance. This distinction is crucial as it allows DFS to operate under different legal guidelines compared to traditional betting. North Carolina does not have specific legislation that addresses DFS, meaning there are no explicit legal barriers preventing residents from participating in these online fantasy sports contests.

Major DFS platforms like DraftKings and FanDuel, which are mostly known for NC sports betting, are accessible to residents, offering games that involve forming virtual teams based on real athletes' performances in sports such as football, basketball, and baseball.

What are the best DFS sites in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, numerous popular sites offer Daily Fantasy Sports, providing a variety of games and contests to enthusiasts. Here are some of the best DFS platforms available:

DraftKings North Carolina


DraftKings is a leader in the DFS market, offering a wide array of sports including NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and more. It features user-friendly interfaces for both its website and mobile app, making it accessible for beginners and seasoned players alike. DraftKings also offers unique features like "Showdown" contests where players pick lineups for a single game rather than multiple matchups, and a robust rewards program that enhances user experience.

FanDuel North Carolina


FanDuel rivals DraftKings in popularity and offers similar expansive sports options. It is known for its innovative contest formats and a slightly different scoring system that can affect strategy. FanDuel also provides a multitude of entry fee levels, which caters to both high rollers and casual players. Its mobile app is highly rated for ease of use and it includes features such as late-swap options, allowing players to change players in their lineup if a game hasn't started.

Yahoo Fantasy North Carolina Logo

Yahoo Fantasy Sports

Yahoo Fantasy Sports is another strong contender, particularly appreciated for its integration with Yahoo's other sports services. It offers a simpler and somewhat more traditional take on DFS, making it a good choice for those who may already use Yahoo for fantasy leagues. Yahoo's DFS platform is praised for its fairness in competition levels and lower rake (commission fees), which can mean better odds for players.

How to get started with Daily Fantasy Sports in North Carolina

Getting started with Daily Fantasy Sports in North Carolina is quite straightforward, even for those new to the concept. With just a few simple steps, you can be ready to compete and potentially earn rewards.

  1. Choose a Platform: First, select a DFS platform. Popular choices include DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo Fantasy Sports, each offering unique features and sports options. Consider what sports you are most interested in and the type of contests you want to participate in (e.g., head-to-head, large tournaments). Review each site’s interface, user reviews, and the bonuses they might offer to new players.
  2. Create an Account: Once you've chosen a platform, the next step is to create an account. This process generally requires providing some personal information such as your name, address, and email, and setting up a username and password. You'll also need to confirm that you are of legal age to play DFS in your state, which is 18 years or older. During sign-up, you may have the option to enter a referral or promo code to receive bonuses.
  3. Deposit Funds: After your account is set up, you'll need to deposit funds to start playing. Most DFS sites offer a variety of deposit methods, including credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and other online wallets. Decide how much money you're willing to start with – a good rule of thumb for beginners is to start small until you understand more about how to play effectively.
  4. Enter Contests: With your account funded, you’re ready to enter contests. Browse the available contests in the sport of your choice and consider the entry fee and the contest’s rules and scoring system. Many platforms also offer free entry to beginners' contests where you can practice without risking real money.
  5. Build and Submit Your Lineup: The final step is to build your lineup according to the contest's rules and salary cap. Each player you select will cost a certain amount of your budget, so the challenge is to balance star players with less expensive, less predictable players. Once satisfied with your team, submit your lineup and follow the live results as the games progress.

What kinds of DFS leagues can I bet on in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, Daily Fantasy Sports enthusiasts can bet on a variety of sports leagues, each offering unique challenges and strategies. From major American sports to niche interests, there's something for everyone.

  • NFL: The NFL is one of the most popular leagues for DFS, with contests running throughout the football season. Players build lineups from across the league, focusing on matchups, player performance, and injuries. The large number of game variables makes strategy critical, and big single-game slates like Monday Night Football are particularly popular.
  • NBA: NBA DFS is famous for its fast-paced action and daily changes. With games almost every night during the season, DFS players must stay informed about starting lineups and player injuries, which can dramatically alter strategies. The high-scoring nature of basketball provides a dynamic scoring environment for DFS contests, making it a favorite among those who enjoy game theory and player performance analytics.
  • MLB: In MLB DFS, participants select players from different teams to create a lineup that competes based on actual statistical performance in games. Baseball relies heavily on player matchups and park factors, offering a more statistical and strategic depth. Daily contests focus on pitcher selections and stacking hitters from the same team to maximize scoring opportunities.
  • NHL: NHL DFS involves selecting players who will accumulate points through goals, assists, and other on-ice actions during games. The sport's lower scoring compared to NBA and NFL requires careful consideration of goalie performance and defensive matchups, which are crucial for success in DFS.
  • PGA: Golf DFS is unique as it spans multiple days and involves selecting a lineup of golfers who score points through birdies, eagles, and overall placement in the tournament. With weather conditions and course specifics playing significant roles, PGA DFS demands in-depth knowledge of both the sport and the specific tournament being played.
  • Soccer: Soccer DFS covers multiple leagues such as the English Premier League, MLS, and UEFA Champions League. It requires knowledge of league-specific player roles, team forms, and tactical setups. Scoring can include points for goals, assists, clean sheets, and other game actions, emphasizing the importance of defensive and midfield player performances as well as forwards.

Timeline of Daily Fantasy Sports legislation in North Carolina

The legislative landscape for Daily Fantasy Sports in North Carolina has seen notable developments in recent years:

  • Pre-2016: DFS operates in a grey area, without explicit legal recognition or prohibition. Major platforms like DraftKings and FanDuel offer their services to residents of North Carolina.
  • 2016: The North Carolina General Assembly considers legislation that would formally legalize and regulate DFS. However, these bills do not pass, leaving the legal status of DFS unchanged yet operable under existing laws.
  • 2017-2019: No significant legislative changes occur concerning DFS. The activity continues to exist in a legal grey area, with no active enforcement against DFS operators.
  • 2020 Onwards: As of the most recent updates, North Carolina has not passed any specific laws that would either strictly legalize or ban DFS. The state continues to allow DFS under the general assumption that it is a game of skill, not chance, thus not falling under typical gambling regulations.

Tips for playing Daily Fantasy Sports in North Carolina

Playing Daily Fantasy Sports in North Carolina can be both fun and rewarding with the right strategies. Here are some essential tips to help you improve your game and increase your chances of winning.

  • Understand the Scoring System: Each DFS platform has its own unique scoring rules. It's crucial to understand how points are awarded on the site you choose. This knowledge will influence your strategy when picking players. For instance, a site that rewards points for receptions in NFL games (PPR) will value pass-catching running backs more highly than one that does not.
  • Research Player Matchups: Player performance in DFS is largely influenced by matchups. Analyzing these matchups can give you a competitive edge. Look at factors like opposing defenses in NFL games or the handedness of pitchers in MLB contests. Utilize tools and websites that provide matchup ratings and player projections.
  • Manage Your Bankroll: Effective bankroll management is key to sustaining play over the long term. Only bet a small percentage of your total bankroll on a single contest to minimize risk. This approach prevents you from depleting your funds quickly and helps maintain a steady opportunity for growth.
  • Participate in Multiple Contests: To maximize your chances of winning, diversify the types of contests you enter. Include a mix of head-to-head, 50/50, and large tournament entries. This strategy spreads your risk and allows you to capitalize on different payout structures.
  • Stay Updated: Player availability can change rapidly, especially close to game time. Staying updated with the latest player news and starting lineups is vital. This can prevent you from having inactive players in your lineup, which can severely impact your score.


Do I pay taxes on Daily Fantasy Sports winnings in NC?

Yes, you do pay taxes on Daily Fantasy Sports winnings in North Carolina. All winnings are subject to federal and state income taxes. It's important to report any earnings from DFS on your tax returns to comply with IRS and state tax regulations.

Can you play DFS using DraftKings in NC?

Yes, you can play Daily Fantasy Sports using DraftKings in North Carolina. DraftKings operates legally in the state, offering a wide range of sports and contest types to residents without explicit legal restrictions on DFS activities.