After a rocky start, the sports betting industry appears to be on the verge of breaking ground in North Dakota. Officially, the American Gaming Association already lists ND among the 29 states and DC that have live, legal sports betting. However, licensed sportsbooks in North Dakota are still cutting through the red tape and cannot accept wagers yet.
North Dakota also has not yet approved mobile betting options. This means bettors will have to go online or in person to place their bets at an approved location. There are also currently no commercial casinos in North Dakota. All of the casinos in North Dakota are classified as either tribal or charitable casinos.
Progress to Date
North Dakota has a long track record of struggling to pass wagering legislation. In 2002, voters passed a bill creating the North Dakota Lottery. However, similar bills had been shot down for over a decade prior. Now, sports betting faces many of the same challenges.
North Dakota State Rep. Jim Kasper has been fighting since 2005 to have online poker legalized in the state. Kasper’s most recent attempt earlier this year failed to receive enough support in the House.
Now, citizens in North Dakota will be able to place bets on local sports using the Dakota Nation Sportsbook. Bettors can access the sportsbook at the Dakota Magic Casino located in Hankinson. Both the Dakota Nation Sportsbook and the Dakota Magic Casino are owned and operated by the Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise.
While there are still a few regulatory hurdles to clear, players could begin placing bets as early as December 1st of this year. If there are regulatory delays, then players may have to wait until early 2022 to start betting.
Future of North Dakota Sports Betting
North Dakota has made a lot of progress in a short amount of time to try to get its sports betting up and running. Currently, only one sportsbook has been approved. If the legislators want the industry to truly flourish, the number of licensed sportsbooks will likely need to increase.
The lawmakers will have plenty of options to choose from as the state boasts several tribal casino operators to choose from. Legislators could also benefit from using online casinos in North Dakota to better reach the rural populations in the state.
Another option full of untapped potential is the option for mobile betting apps. Currently, there are no mobile betting options available in North Dakota. Many other states have seen an explosion in gambling revenue using mobile apps. For North Dakota, allowing mobile betting apps would require a new agreement between tribal and state officials.
It has been a long, winding road for proponents of sports betting in North Dakota. But it appears that the road may be coming to an end sooner rather than later. Bettors in the state of North Dakota may be able to start winning real money from sports betting by the beginning of next month.
Allowing sports betting is just the first step lawmakers. The industry can expand not only in-person at one of the many tribal ran casinos but also online. If the state allows for mobile betting in the future, then the industry could make leaps and bounds in the coming years.