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North Dakota

While there is no law stating that sports betting is legal, North Dakota residents have been able to place sports wagers at select tribal casinos since December 2021.

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All legal ways to bet on in North Dakota

Is online sports betting legal in North Dakota?No
Is in-person sports betting legal?Legal (restricted)
Is daily fantasy sports legal?Yes
Is betting on college sports legal?Yes
Is horse racing betting legal?Yes
Is greyhound betting legal?No
Is political betting legal?No
Is eSports betting legal?No

North Dakota does not have any pro sports teams, but it is the home of two of the biggest college football programs in the FCS. The University of North Dakota and North Dakota State have given residents a winning team to root for. Since ND does not have proper sports betting laws in place, technically, residents also have the option to wager on these in-state colleges, as long as one of the tribal casinos with a sportsbook is offering odds on the game.

The biggest betting market in North Dakota that is fully legal is horse racing. The state is home to multiple horse tracks and off-track betting facilities. Aside from those locations, residents can also download and use racebooks like TwinSpires or FanDuel Racing. Daily fantasy sports apps are also available for download, but those are not regulated, so all DFS apps that offer contests in the app are not licensed by the state; they just operate in a gray area.

Online sports betting in The Peace Garden State

While lawmakers in North Dakota have struggled to pass a sports betting bill for years, the local gaming tribes decided to take matters into their own hands. It may seem confusing that sports betting operates legally in the state without a law that says it can, but due to gaming compacts between the state and local gaming tribes, sports betting can be legally offered under a bit of a loophole.

The gaming compacts that the tribes of North Dakota signed authorized them to offer Class III Gaming, which included on-site sports betting if PASPA were ever overturned. These gaming compacts were signed in 2013, so that piece of the compact was irrelevant until 2018 when the Supreme Court decided to overturn PASPA.

PASPA's overturning also allowed the state to legalize sports betting traditionally, but in 2021, lawmakers declined two legislative efforts on the topic. Those efforts would have allowed residents to vote on legalizing online sports betting or retail wagering at tribal casinos.

Even though residents couldn’t vote on whether they wanted retail sports betting at tribal locations, those tribal casinos could still launch sports betting in December 2021, thanks to the aforementioned gaming compacts. Since then, three tribal casinos have become the only locations in the state where a legal sports bet can be placed.

While there is always a chance the topic will be on the ballot in 2024, there have been no real discussions about a ballot measure heading into the year.

Sports betting & gambling legislation in ND

Due to the structure of sports betting in North Dakota, the rules and regulations surrounding the topic vary from each tribal casino that operates a sportsbook. The one rule that remains the same across all of them is the legal gambling age, which is 21 in ND.

One of the other restrictions North Dakota bettors have is the lack of remote registration. With no online sportsbooks in operation in the Roughrider State, remote registration is unavailable, and even if one of the tribal casinos decided to open their own mobile betting app, this would likely remain the case. Each of these casinos and sports betting operations is regulated by that individual tribe's gaming commission. Because of this, it is essential to research each specific casino's rules and regulations before placing a wager there.

With tribal casinos running the show, not only do sports betting apps not exist in ND, but online casinos and online poker are also unavailable to bettors in the state. The lone gambling-related market outside of retail casinos and sports betting is the state lottery, which, unlike all other forms of gambling, is run through the state government.

Are online casinos legal in North Dakota?No
Are retail casinos legal?Yes
Are social sportsbooks legal?Yes
Are sweepstakes/social casinos legal?Yes
Is online poker legal?No
Is the lottery legal?Yes
The launch date of sports betting in North Dakota?December 1, 2021
How many legal sports betting apps are there in ND?0
How many legal retail betting sites are there in ND?3
Is remote registration allowed?No
Legal age for sports betting in North Dakota?21+
North Dakota's tax rate for betting/gambling winnings2.9%
Who regulates sports betting in North Dakota?Tribal Gaming Commission

Most recent updates from the ND sports betting scene

  • September 1, 2023: The increasing popularity of electronic pull tabs in North Dakota leads to debates about the future of charitable gambling and the necessity of regulating these machines. Concerns include their placement in venues like gas stations and convenience stores and determining which organizations can host them.

  • July 7, 2023: North Dakota's attorney general, Drew Wrigley, settles with three gambling equipment distributors accused of violating charitable gambling laws related to electronic pull-tab machines. The settlement involves a $125,000 fine and an admission of wrongdoing.

  • March 17, 2023: In North Dakota, an amendment to exclude schools from a sports betting resolution gets defeated in the State Senate by a single vote, with 24 against and 23 in favor. The original resolution, House Concurrent Resolution 3002, will now proceed for a Senate vote.

  • January 31, 2023: The North Dakota Senate delays a decision on a proposed sports betting task force, opting to gather more data before proceeding. This move impacts the potential legalization of sports betting outside tribal areas, allowing mobile sportsbook apps to enter a relatively unexplored market.

In-person sports betting sites and locations

For now, North Dakota bettors can choose between three tribal casinos in the state that offer sports betting. The Dakota Magic Casino in Hankinson became the first tribal casino in ND to accept a legal wager, and since then, two more casinos have opened their doors to sports bettors.

There are five tribal casinos in the state, so two more casinos can open a sportsbook if they want to expand their business. A few other locations in the state fall under the category of charitable casinos, but none of these locations can offer sports betting.

Retail Sportsbook

Location

Dakota Magic Casino

16849 102nd St SE, Hankinson

4 Bears Casino and Lodge

202 Frontage Rd, New Town

Sky Dancer Casino & Resort

3965 Sky Dancer Way NE, Belcourt

Sports betting in neighboring states

North Dakota is located in a part of the country where sports betting is legal but with some pretty heavy restrictions. Montana and South Dakota share similar sports-betting landscapes, where customers can wager on sports but are restricted in where they can do so.

In Minnesota, sports betting is illegal, so if North Dakota residents are trying to cross the border in any direction to find online sports betting, they are out of luck. To read up on what types of restrictions MT and SD have or why Minnesota doesn’t have sports betting, you can click on them in the box below.

StateOnline sports bettingRetail sports bettingDFSHorse Race betting
MinnesotaIllegalLegal (restricted)LegalLegal
South DakotaLegal (restricted)LegalLegalLegal
MontanaLegal (restricted)LegalIllegalLegal

Potential sports betting revenue impact on North Dakota’s economy

The tribal casinos currently offering sports betting in North Dakota cannot do so because of licenses, but they can offer them because of gaming compacts with the state. Since sports betting technically isn’t legal in ND, no governing body can grant licenses to retail facilities or online operators. As a result of the lack of sports betting infrastructure in North Dakota, there is also no set tax rate for sports betting.

Access to the statistics surrounding sports betting in North Dakota is currently unavailable to the public. In states where tribal casinos have full reign over gambling and sports betting, these reports do not typically see the light of day since the state’s government barely has anything to do with those markets.

According to a report from AP News back in 2022, up to $138,000 in North Dakota residents were betting on offshore betting apps, and they bet close to $355 million a year on those apps. One would think this would motivate ND lawmakers to pursue a more active pursuit of legalizing sports betting, but the market has remained the same. If North Dakota is ever able to expand their sports betting market through legalization, we will update the revenue tracker below.

North Dakota - Some commonly asked questions (FAQ):

What is the legal status of sports betting in North Dakota?

Sports betting is legal in ND, but not through a bill. Instead, the local gaming tribes are able to offer sports betting through their gaming compacts, which means that wagering is strictly limited to in-person.

How profitable has sports betting been for ND?

With how the sports betting landscape is laid out in North Dakota, the public does not have access to the state’s monthly sports betting revenue reports.

What is the most successful sports team from North Dakota?

The North Dakota State Bison football team is by far the most successful team from ND. The program has won 17 National Championships in its history.

Who are the most well-known sports figures in ND?

With the NDSU Bison football program's prominence, state residents have been able to see and root for future NFL players like Easton Stick, Carson Wentz, and Trey Lance.