January 31, 2023 2 min read


North Dakota Senate Stalls Sports Betting Bill

The North Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee withheld from issuing a judgment on the proposed sports betting task force, preferring to wait and gather additional data

The state is currently on its way toward legalizing sports betting outside tribal lands, allowing mobile sportsbooks entry into a relatively untapped market. Senate Bill 2358 outlines a new sports betting task force charged with developing an implementation and regulatory framework for online sports betting. However, the Senate’s decision to postpone their judgment may dampen hopes for a quick resolution.

Mobile Sportsbooks May Arrive as Soon as 2025

North Dakota tried to legalize online sports betting in 2019 and 2021, but neither attempt gained traction. However, the most recent initiative has gathered significant momentum, winning the support of 12 representatives – 11 Republicans and 1 Democrat. Proponents of the measure expressed concern regarding the spread of unlicensed operators that undermine taxes and do not provide consumer protections.

The North Dakota House approved House Concurrent Resolution 3002 – the next step toward a mobile sports betting referendum on the 2024 ballot. If the public supports the legislation, North Dakota’s first mobile sportsbooks should come online by the end of 2025. However, the measure may never make it to the ballots if it does not receive Senate approval, and the latest developments have caused some concern.

The Senate Preferred to Exercise Caution

Senate Bill 2358, an accompanying piece of legislation, met surprising resistance after the Senate postponed its final decision. The bill envisions the creation of a sports betting task force to develop a plan for online sports betting implementation and regulation and prepare any necessary legislation. However, the Senate was hesitant to proceed, neither approving nor denying the measure.

We’ll just let this percolate for a little bit before we take any action on it.

North Dakota state Sen. Diane Larson

The Senate’s lack of decisiveness is understandable, given the contentious nature of sports betting reforms. On its own, Bill 2358 holds little cause for concern, dealing with safeguarding state interests, ensuring consumer protection, and guaranteeing sports integrity. Its continued existence also hinges on voters supporting the primary sports betting legislation.

During the Senate’s latest meeting on Monday, representatives discussed their overall views on gambling, the proposed reforms, and the growing pressure to introduce online sports betting amidst rapid nationwide adoption. Their decision will impact North Dakota voters for years to come, so taking time to think things through is not necessarily a bad sign.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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