North Dakota Lawmaker Wants Voters To Decide On Sports Betting

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on January 10, 2023
Legal commercial sports betting in North Dakota could be put to a vote in 2024

North Dakota State Rep. Greg Stemen has introduced legislation to legalize sports betting in North Dakota.

Stemen introduced House Concurrent Resolution 3002, a measure that would amend the state constitution. In short, Stemen’s resolution would not make sports betting legal; instead, it would let voters decide if lawmakers should legalize sports betting in the Peace Garden State.

The resolution would go to voters in the November 2024 general election if passed by the state legislature. Then, in 2025, lawmakers would create the necessary framework and determine how to launch North Dakota sports betting. 

Can North Dakota sports betting become a reality? 

In short, the measure would: “authorize sports betting to be conducted in the state and licensed and regulated by the state.”

When addressing the House Judiciary Committee, Stemen cited figures from the American Gaming Association (AGA), which says as many as 138,000 North Dakotans gamble over $300 million annually.

The AGA also estimates roughly $30 million in revenue goes to illegal offshore sportsbooks. Speaking with the Bismark Tribune, Stemen said:

“If it’s already happening, let’s regulate it, let’s provide oversight, let’s put consumer protections in place and allow legitimate American gaming entities to partner with the state, and so that the people who are doing it have some protections built in.”

Pat Gibbs, national public policy counsel for the Sports Betting Alliance, said the resolution “simply starts the conversation.”

“To maximize state revenue, enhance user convenience, and best attack illegal offshore sports betting websites, the legislature should authorize and regulate competitive statewide mobile sports betting,” Gibbs said.

North Dakota could collect millions in tax revenue

According to Stemen, North Dakota could collect over $3.5 million in tax revenue annually from sports betting by instituting a 10% tax rate, which is common around the US, he added. “Let’s do this one step at a time,” Stemen said.

A similar measure passed through the House in 2021. However, it failed to gather enough support in the Senate. 

Currently, retail sports betting in ND is limited to tribal casinos. The Dakota Magic Casino in Hankinson launched retail betting on Dec. 1. The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe owns and operates the casino.

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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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