BISMARK, N.D. – With four representatives absent before the midseason break, the bills to bring legal sports betting to North Dakota were narrowly defeated on the House floor on Wednesday.
House Bill 1254 failed to pass, being only two votes short of the 48 votes required.
House Bill 1295 missed by a wider margin, only receiving 30 votes in support.
The former bill would have been a major stepping stone to bring legal sports betting to the Great Plains region. The measure was set to permit professional and collegiate sports wagering in the state.
“I don’t think we’re going to gamble our way to prosperity,” said Representative Bernie Satrom (R- Jamestown).
Those like Satrom opposed to the bill believed passing this into law would ultimately create addiction problems for gamblers.
North Dakota has a staunch reputation for being an anti-gambling state even with the recent approval to allow horseracing betting.
Representatives Michael Howe (R- West Fargo) and Jason Dockter (R -Bismark) introduced the bills in January and believed the ND legislators were ready to regulate the industry and collect tax revenue. The bill’s text made it as an extension of the state’s charitable gaming.
“I just feel since people are already spending the money, why not have the money go to some of these local charities in the state,” Dockter said before the bill was rejected.
It looks that another route to create a sports betting industry in North Dakota must be taken.
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After spending time scouting college basketball for Florida State University under Leonard Hamilton and the University of Alabama under Anthony Grant, Michael started writing focused on NBA content. A graduate of both schools, he now covers legal sports betting bills, sports betting revenue data, tennis betting odds, and sportsbook reviews. Michael likes to play basketball, hike, and kayak when not glued to the TV watching midlevel tennis matches.