The gaming landscape in North Dakota is rather vast. There are seven land-based casinos on tribal lands, but there are hundreds throughout the state that offer some form of charitable gaming. No site in North Dakota offers betting on sports.
It is hard to project whether or not North Dakota will approve sports betting anytime soon. There are only a few Division I colleges and universities and no pro teams. There are those seven casinos that are spread out across the state, but the tribes haven’t really pushed all that hard for sports betting legislation.
We’ve seen in a variety of different states the impact and the power that the tribal gaming compacts can have. In states like Oklahoma, the tribes have been at odds with the state lawmakers and the governor. In Florida, the Seminole Tribe, which has all the power and leverage over gaming, has not really moved forward. Tribal casinos in New Mexico are taking wagers, but tribal casinos in Arizona have not really pursued it. In Michigan, everybody seems to be on the same page, from the major companies in Detroit to the tribal casinos upstate.
It varies from state to state and tribe to tribe and the amount of power held by the state government in terms of gaming also varies greatly. The belief is that the tribes could already have been exempt from PASPA, which was overturned in Murphy v. NCAA in May 2018, so they could conceivably go ahead and start up operations of their own if they wanted to. The tribes, to this point, haven’t shown a ton of initiative.
Does that mean that North Dakota could attempt to start up legal sports betting independent of the tribes? That would likely hit a lot of snags, as the tribes would certainly want their cut if proposals moved forward either without their blessing or without their involvement. Possible options in that regard could be to run sports betting through the North Dakota Lottery or to find some other alternative.
Unfortunately, it will be a moot point until 2021. North Dakota’s legislature only meets every other year, so nothing will be going on in 2020. With several states on board for 2020, including Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, and then potentially places like Kansas and Missouri, perhaps a wave of new states joining the world of legalized sports betting will help the state’s lawmakers move a little bit quicker on the propositions and proposals.
How Do I Bet on Sports in North Dakota?
Until at least 2021, you will not be able to bet on sports in North Dakota. A study commissioned in 2020 during the legislative recess will hopefully change that, but we’ll have to wait and see when legislators get back in session.
Unfortunately, if you live in North Dakota, your betting options are very, very limited. Minnesota does not have legalized sports betting. Montana has legalized betting through the state lottery, but it is widely-regarded as one of the worst setups in the country among the states that take bets.
South Dakota is moving forward and could be your best hope in the future, but nothing has been agreed to as of Q2 of 2020.
If you live in North Dakota and want to bet on sports, you’re going to have to travel a long way to do it. Iowa would be the closest state, but a pilgrimage to Las Vegas is probably just the smartest way to go about it for all involved.