North Dakota Legislature

  • In February, a resolution to amend the North Dakota Constitution will be presented to the state legislature to allow for legal North Dakota sports betting.
  • If the resolution passes, residents in the state will vote on it come November 2021 and a possible launch of legal sports betting could come by the end of 2022 depending on the vote.

BISMARK, N.D. – Residents may be able to vote on North Dakota sports betting legalization like their South Dakota neighbors did in 2020. A new proposal to open the industry by way of vote is making its way to the North Dakota Legislature.

Introductions of the resolution will be made to lawmakers beginning in February by Representative Michael Howe.

The sponsor of the legislation is aiming to allow residents of North Dakota the ability to change the state’s Constitution and make gambling on sporting events, at both professional and collegiate levels, a legal pastime.

What’s Next On The Path For The Resolution?

In 2019, two bills tried and failed to make sports betting in North Dakota a legal market. Due to how the North Dakota Constitution is written, any topics regarding gaming would need to be amended through a vote by the constituents and that’s only after a vote is greenlit by the legislature to conduct.

The resolution on the table would need to receive the greenlight for voters to see it on their November 2021 ballots.

It is believed that while lawmakers have shown a majority of opposition at every turn in previous sessions, sports betting would be welcomed by voters. Residents in North Dakota are already using mobile sportsbooks from outside sources to gamble on sporting events which is why they are expected to vote favorably if given the chance to do so.

The Roughrider State has softened in terms of gambling markets. It took many tries before the lottery was made legal and finally launched in 2004.

Now that and various scratch card games are available in the state and provides the economy with millions of dollars in revenue every year.

It’s become easier to make gaming industry subjects legal among the people of North Dakota because so many of the residents take part in the games themselves, including sports betting with third party applications because there are no state-sanctioned markets as of yet.

“It’s not as taboo as it once was,” said Howe. “The general public has embraced it now. A lot of people are already doing it on their phones illegally. Why not let North Dakota have a piece of that pie? Why not have it here and regulate it here?”

North Dakota Sports Betting

The North Dakota Legislature will adjourn on April 28 for the year. By then, residents will know if Howe’s resolution has passed and sports betting will be put on the November 2021 ballot for a public vote.

Should the resolution pass, it’s been said that Governor Doug Burgum will not stand in its way if that’s what the people want for the state. He will not advocate nor oppose the industry and leave it all up to the Legislature and the people of North Dakota to decide.

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