- North Dakotans will not be seeing legal sports betting on their November 2022 ballots.
- The Senate narrowly voted against having ND HCR 3032 move forward to allow for the subject to be placed on the ballots in 2022.
- ND HCR 3032 was a measure requesting a constitutional amendment that passed in the House but couldn’t get the votes in the Senate.
BISMARCK, N.D. – The Senate in North Dakota voted against having sports betting legislation move forward in 2021 on Monday.
ND HCR 3032 would have allowed North Dakotans the ability to vote to amend the constitution and legalize a sports wagering market in the state after first receiving approval in the legislature for constituents to do so in 2022. But that approval was not received.
On February 23, the proposal passed in the House on its second reading with a vote of 70 YEAS and 24 NAYS.
It was the Senate that killed the bill. The Senate vote for ND HCR 3032 had two-second readings. The first reading on Friday resulted in a failure with 22 YEAS and 24 NAYS. It was then up for reconsideration on Monday after one lawmaker was unable to vote the first time around.
But again, the bill failed to pass with a vote of 23 YEAS and 24 NAYS. Ironically, the vote on both occasions was so close not even a gambling man would want to wager on it had it been a sports bet.
What’s Coming For North Dakota?
North Dakotans were hopeful after the House passed the bill by an overwhelming majority. The November 2022 ballot would have seen the topic of gambling on sporting events and its legalization for residents to weigh in on if the Senate would have leaned as favorably toward the proposal as the House did.
Gaming expansion is something that is an uphill battle for North Dakota, especially when it requires a constitutional amendment. Two years ago, legislation to legalize the sports wagering industry was shot down. The 2021 session saw much more progress than previous sessions have for legal sports betting in North Dakota.
Proponents argue that residents in the state gamble on sports every day of the year with internet sportsbooks. This is one reason why advocates of the market want to make it legal for those that reside in N.D. so that money is kept in the state to benefit the economy for North Dakotans rather than go have it continue to go elsewhere.
The Future For North Dakota Legal Sports Betting
Had there been a vote in 2022, legal sports betting could have launched in North Dakota in 2023. Now, should a proposal pass in the future, it would place the subject on the November 2024 ballot which would launch a market in the state in 2025 at the earliest should legal sports wagering receive the majority vote by residents.
But even in 2025, North Dakota has limitations that would allow only the five tribes of the state with gaming businesses and a few non-profit organizations to engage in gambling of any kind. Both parties are opposed to making sportsbooks legal in the state which will likely see the same opposition again when trying to get sports gaming on the 2024 ballot.
The 2021 legislative session for North Dakota will adjourn on April 28. By all accounts, ND HCR 3032 has died and will not likely see a revival for a third reading vote. North Dakotans will have to continue to wait for a legal sports wagering industry while betting with outside parties in the meantime.
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Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.