After one day, North Dakota sports betting already claims an early victory. On Thursday, the ND House of Representatives approved legislation to legalize sports betting in the state.
The proposal, introduced by State Rep. Greg Stemen, now goes to the Senate.
Next steps for North Dakota sports betting bill
It’s still early in the process, but if the Senate approves House Concurrent Resolution 3002, it will be placed on the November 2024 ballot.
However, the measure residents will vote on does not legalize sports betting. Instead, voters would decide if lawmakers should amend the state constitution to allow sports betting.
Earlier this week, Stemen cited figures from the American Gaming Association, which says almost 138,000 North Dakotans gamble over $300 million annually. Stemen told the Bismark Tribune:
“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. So that the people who are doing it have some protections built in.”
According to Stemen, North Dakota could generate over $3.5 million in gaming tax revenue annually by instituting a 10% tax rate.
Sports betting is a hot commodity in the US
The US sports betting industry has been quite active. With the addition of Maryland, the industry saw a 27% increase in betting activity nationwide. In November alone, Americans gambled $9.40 billion on sports.
But those who think legal, regulated sports betting in the Peace Garden State is a sure thing should sit tight. A similar measure passed through the House in 2021. However, it failed to gather enough support in the Senate.
For now, residents will have to settle for retail sports betting, which 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.
As it stands, thirty-five states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, currently authorize some form of sports betting.