North Dakota gets one step closer to legal sports betting. A House committee voted on Wednesday endorsing a resolution that enables residents of the state to decide on sports betting legalization. Now the resolution seeks the approval of the two chambers of the House.
A House Committee Votes on Sports Betting Resolution
North Dakota’s House committee voted to allow a resolution that enables residents of the state to decide on sports betting legalization. The bipartisan resolution received a “do-pass” on Wednesday this week. Consequently, now it is up to the two chambers of the House to vote on the resolution.
The accepted resolution enjoyed wide bipartisan support and was proposed by Republican Michael Howe. The resolution was put forward after two bills that planned to allow sports betting were defeated two years ago. If approved by the two chambers, it may be up to the residents of North Dakota to decide on the sports betting legalization on the November 2022 ballot.
Current Bill Excludes Betting on College Sports
A bill that establishes the rules which sports betting operators will have to follow is also going to be received by the House. However, the bill would not need the vote of the House. In its current version, the bill does not include wagering on college sports. This is because the bill was amended after Mark Hagerott, North Dakota University System Chancellor, raised concerns by all of the state’s colleges with the Committee.
Speaking for the Associated Press, Howe said that any concerns about students “throwing a game” are “completely unfounded”. Furthermore, he stressed that the legalization of sports betting would make it more difficult to fix games. He added that once the activity is legalized and monitored, “any irregular activity will be easily detected“.
Sports Betting Legalization to Bring Benefits for North Dakota
Sports betting legalization became possible after, in 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act). Before that, the law restricted sports betting to Nevada for 25 years. Once ruled unconstitutional, the processes related to legalization and regulation were left in the hands of each state’s legislature.
According to supporters of the sports betting legalization in North Dakota, the activity would generate revenue for charity organizations. Furthermore, the regulation of the activity may raise funds for gambling addiction and problem gambling treatment. Considering the economic impact brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, such revenue may prove to be vital for the state.