North Dakota House floor.

  • Legal sports betting in North Dakota is closer to being on the November 2022 ballot as it has been passed in the House.
  • The House passed measures for both sports wagering and live internet poker.
  • The Senate will now need to pass these bills for them to make their way to a public vote in 2022.

BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Legislative Assembly has passed live internet poker and sports wagering bills in the House on Tuesday where they will now move to the Senate for consideration. House members have decided that the topics of live online poker and sports gaming should be left up to the public.

Resolution companion bills that would amend the constitution to allow for these activities have fully passed in the House and their fate will now rest in the hands of the Senate.

If the Senate has the same mindset as the House, agreeing that such subjects be decided by residents, a passage will still not guarantee that voters see online gambling and sportsbooks on their November 2022 ballots.

ND Governor Doug Burgum would need to sign off on the proposals first, although he has said that should the Assembly get these bills to his desk that he would not stand in the way of a vote by the people for the legalization of the industries.

The Companion Resolutions

House Concurrent Resolution 3012 to make live online poker legal in North Dakota was passed in the House by a vote of 54-40.

“There are thousands of people in the state of North Dakota who are playing online poker. It’s not regulated. It’s not taxed. We don’t know for sure if the machines are fair or not because we don’t know anything about it,” said Rep. Jim Kasper, (R-Fargo) sponsor to HCR 3012.

Kasper has been trying to make this market legal in North Dakota for sixteen years to no avail. Presently, there are six states in the nation that have legalized live internet poker platforms.

House Concurrent Resolution 3032 would make sports wagering legal in North Dakota. It passed in the House by a vote of 70-24. Proponents of HCR 3032 have said that North Dakota residents gamble on sporting events every day using outside sources to do so and would benefit from a transparent and safe state-sanctioned market.

This sports betting resolution would not see collegiate sports open for activity and there are also some questions as to how the structure of the industry would be laid out for legal sports gaming in North Dakota. These questions will receive answers should the measure make it to the November 2022 ballot and pass.

“By allowing the people to vote on it (sports betting), we can put this to rest once and for all,” said Rep. Rick Becker, (R-Bismarck).

Coming Up For North Dakota

No revenue estimates were given for either industry as they are each still a question mark pending passage and then the approval of North Dakotans in 2022. But any revenue is set to go toward charities in North Dakota and programs to fund problem gambling.

The 2021 session in North Dakota will end on April 28.

By that time, residents should know whether or not North Dakota legal sports betting will be up for a vote in November 2022 with an expected launch in 2023 if all goes in favor of the potential new market. No dates have been set to hear these bills on the Senate floor.

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