March 23, 2021 3 min read


North Dakota Pumps the Breaks on Gambling Resolution

The Senate of North Dakota killed a resolution that would have allowed residents to decide on sports gambling in the state.

North Dakota Senate Rejected Sports Betting

On Friday, the North Dakota Senate rejected a resolution bill enabling residents to allow sports wagering in the state. On Monday, the bill was reconsidered but failed again with a narrow vote against, at 23-24.  

Last month the House committee voted to allow residents to decide on sports betting legalization. A sports wagering measure would have appeared on the November 2022 ballot if it had passed both chambers.

Sports Betting Would Have Generated Revenue for Charity

The bill included rules and guidelines for sports betting operators to follow. The measure would not have allowed wagering on college sports, and no irregular activity would have gone undetected. 

According to supporters of the proposal, sports wagering legalization in the state would have generated a lot of money for charity. Legalized sports betting would have raised funding for gambling addiction and problem gambling treatment. North Dakota’s residents already bet illegally. With the potential legalization of sports betting, the state could capitalize on the revenue generated from the activity. 

In 2018 the US Supreme Court lifted the federal ban from 1992, which prohibited sports betting almost everywhere in the country. It opened the door to the legalization of sports betting in many states in the US. The PASPA repeal allowed states to capitalize on legal sports wagering and cut offshore cash outflow. At that time, Americans generated approximately $150 billion in illegal sports betting every year. 

Is This the End for Sports Betting in North Dakota? 

Two years ago, the Legislature killed two other bills that would have legalized sports wagering in the state. In 2019, a piece of legislation, which would have legalized betting on college and professional sports, passed the house with a 52-38 vote. The bills failed to pass in the state Senate later on. 

North Dakota residents and legislatures disapproved of the idea in the past but have warmed up to it in recent years, as they have allowed more gambling in the state. In the 80s and the 90s, the state didn’t allow lottery measures. The majority of people then rejected lottery, video gambling machines, and bingo halls. Times are changing.

Today, North Dakota has pari-mutuel racetracks, a few tribal casinos, multi-state lotteries, and many charitable gambling operations. The sports betting bills passed in the house before and got killed in the Senate.


Eva is a PR specialist and communications expert with ten years of experience in campaign organizing and creative writing. She is also a published author of fictional stories. Eva recently developed an interest in economics and the gaming industry after discovering the inspirational story of Molly Bloom.

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