North Dakota online sports betting laws
The chances of North Dakota legalizing sports betting are more unlikely than ever. Bills that may have cleared the path for legalization were voted down in March 2021 and it is hard to see any way legal North Dakota online sports betting will commence in the next few years.
Administrative law and government relations attorney
Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C, in 2005. She's been living in Las Vegas helping clients in the casino and gaming industry, as well as other regulated businesses, across Nevada for over 15 years.
She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on US gaming law, including most recently, The Law of Regulated Gambling: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers, American Bar Association (2020), and That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry (2020).
Is sports betting legal in North Dakota?
No. North Dakota sports betting has not been legalized and there is little prospect of that changing any time soon.
Is online sports betting legal in North Dakota?
No. There are no legal North Dakota betting sites, and it could be many years before any are permitted.
The push for legal North Dakota sports betting took some time to gather momentum in the wake of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) being struck down in 2018.
That ruling by the US Supreme Court opened the door for states to legalize sports betting, but North Dakota was in no rush to push through it. Two 2019 bills failed to gain any traction, but the state came much closer in early 2021.
In February of that year, the North Dakota House approved a pair of sports betting bills. One, HR3032, would have put the issue to a public vote in 2022. The other laid out the framework for legalization.
However, HR3032 was voted down by a single vote in March 2021. That leaves lawmakers who are in favor of legalization looking at a long and rocky road.
Even if the vote had gone the other way, it would have been 2023 before sports betting commenced in the Peace Garden State.
And it would have been another two years before North Dakota online sports betting was allowed to begin. As it stands, it looks like it will be several years before the people of the state can enjoy legal sports betting.
The one exception to the no sports betting rule in North Dakota is horse racing. The North Dakota Racing Commission is the regulatory body in charge of regulating live and simulcast racing in the state’s two racetracks, Chippewa Downs and ND Horse Park. With these places to bet in person, as well as betting sites that accept horse racing wagers (a full list of which can be found here), there is an example of successful sports betting within the state.
The main providers of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) offer games to the people of North Dakota. That’s because, although DFS has not been specifically legalized and regulated as an industry, neither has it been explicitly declared illegal in the state.
Although North Dakota has never been home to a pro sports team, there is plenty of interest here in leading American sports – as there is in states from coast to coast.
DFS games involving football, baseball, basketball, and hockey find a keen audience here. There is particular interest in hockey because of the exploits of the state’s leading college team, the Fighting Hawks from the University of North Dakota.
With eight national NCAA championships, the Fighting Hawks have a strong following here, and their players are a popular choice when playing college hockey DFS games.
Even though legal North Dakota sports betting is a distant prospect, there is still plenty of gambling activity in the state.
The state is home to several tribal casinos, numerous smaller charitable casino facilities, and a state lottery. There is also, as with any state where sports betting is illegal, undoubtedly a high level of betting with unlicensed websites and sportsbooks.
As a result, there are several bodies in North Dakota dedicated to highlighting the need to gamble responsibly:
Gambler ND has self-help materials and links to support groups, counselors and online courses, as well as plenty of detail on the nature of problem gambling.
The National Council on Problem Gambling has a presence in every state. It offers a guide to local resources, as well as direct assistance including a 24-hour confidential helpline.
The North Dakota Racing Commission issues a succinct reminder of the need to gamble responsibly, as well as links to other agencies.
PASPA is thrown out by the US Supreme Court, clearing the way for legalization of sports betting on a state-by-state basis.
Two bills that would have legalized North Dakota sports betting are introduced, but neither goes very far.
A House resolution that would have seen the legalization of sports betting put to a public vote in November 2022 is defeated by a single vote in March.
There are no locations in North Dakota where you can legally enjoy general sports betting. And little prospect of that changing any time soon.
North Dakota is home to several tribal casinos, which will be the most likely location for sports betting to take place if it is ever legalized. An up-to-date list can be found here.
The state is also home to numerous charitable casinos that offer more limited gaming facilities.
North Dakota sports betting has not been legalized. There are no North Dakota betting sites, and no online sportsbooks are licensed to operate here – except those that are licensed to accept horse racing bets. Some offshore operators offer their services, but they are not legal or licensed, and you have no legal standing if you run into a dispute with such a sportsbook.
No. North Dakota online sports betting has not been legalized – except for horse racing with licensed providers. It may be several years before you are allowed to bet on sports on your laptop or mobile in North Dakota. No sportsbooks are licensed to offer their services legally to residents of the Peace Garden State.
Although North Dakota online betting is illegal, there are more than 20 states across the union where sports betting is now allowed in different forms, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and West Virginia, to name but a few.
Many current sportsbooks allow you to cash out your bets. This means you can take an early payout, which will limit your losses or lock in a win. If North Dakota betting sites are ever launched, residents will be able to compare which operators offer the best value when cashing out.