North Dakota may be one of the least populous states in the US but that hasn’t stopped it from fostering a varied gambling market. With pari-mutuel wagering at two horse racing tracks, a state lottery, several tribal casinos and hundreds of charitable gambling operations, there are plenty of gambling options for North Dakota’s residents. But with the repeal of the federal ban on sports betting, could North Dakota permit sports betting in the state? BettingUS has everything you need to know.

Is it legal to bet on sports in North Dakota?

No, it is illegal to place bets on professional and collegiate sporting events such as football, basketball and hockey. However, residents can place pari-mutuel wagers on horse racing at horse racing tracks in the state and online at TwinSpires and TVG.

In January 2019, two sports betting bills were introduced by North Dakota lawmakers. The first bill introduced was HB 1295 and would have legalized betting on professional sports only, but did not make it past the House of Representatives. The Second bill, HB 1254, was much more comprehensive and was successful in the House of Representatives, with a vote of 52-38 in February 2019. There appears to be strong support for the bill, but it still has a long way to go before it can become a law.

Where will I be able to place bets on sporting events in North Dakota?

If HB 1254 is successful, sports betting could be offered at North Dakota’s Tribal gambling establishments, or at one of the states many charitable gambling venues. Text from the bill reads: “An organization recognized as a public-spirited organization by the governing body of a city or county may apply for a local permit to conduct only raffles, bingo, or sports pools, or a charity local permit to conduct only raffles, bingo, sports pools, paddlewheels, twenty-one, and poker.”

What sports will I be able to bet on?

HB 1254 would permit wagering on professional sporting events which includes MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA events. The bill would also authorize betting on college sports.

What else can I bet on in North Dakota

Despite not having commercial land-based casinos or online casino gambling, the state of North Dakota has a wide selection of gambling options for residents. Aside from betting on horse racing, residents can play the state lottery which holds several interstate draws. There are also hundreds of charitable gambling venues located across the state.

Here are the horse racing tracks in North Dakota where you can place pari-mutuel wagers:

Racetrack Name Location Contact Email Race Dates
Chippewa Downs Belcourt, ND 58316, USA +1 701-477-6158 Online form Racing Schedule
North Dakota Horse Park 5180 19th Ave N, Fargo, ND 58102, USA +1 701-277-8027 Online form Race dates listed on site

As an alternative to online sports betting, residents can play fantasy sports games offered by companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings. On top of this, residents can also participate in online games of skill offered on sites such as WorldWinner, for a chance to win cash prizes.

Although the state does not permit land-based commercial casinos to operate, residents can still gamble at one of the states tribal casinos or charitable gambling venues. These venues offer a wide selection of games including slots, poker, blackjack and roulette.

Here are the tribal casinos that operate in North Dakota:

Casino Name Location Contact Email Opening times
Dakota Magic Casino 16849 102nd St SE, Hankinson, ND 58041, USA +1 701-634-3000 Online form 24 hours
Grand River Casino and Resort 2 US-12, Mobridge, SD 57601, USA +1 605-845-7104 Not available Sunday – Thursday 7 am – 2:30 am

Friday – Saturday 24 hours

Four Bears Casino & Lodge 202 Frontage Rd, New Town, ND 58763, USA +1 800-294-5454 Online form 24 hours
Prairie Knights Casino and Resort 7932 ND-24, Fort Yates, ND 58538, USA +1 800-425-8277 Online form 24 hours
Spirit Lake Casino 7889 ND-57, St Michael, ND 58370, USA +1 701-766-4747 Not available 24 hours
Skydancer Casino 3965 Sky Dancer Way NE, Belcourt, ND 58316, United States +1 701-244-2400 Not available 24 hours

Are offshore gambling sites legal in North Dakota?

No. Any form of gambling that is not sanctioned by the state is considered illegal and could result in a fine of up to $1000. Legality aside, we recommend avoiding offshore gambling sites due to lack of regulation. As offshore gambling sites don’t hold a license to operate in North Dakota, they are not subject to the strict regulatory standards that the rest of the state’s gambling industry is. This means that offshore sites may not have player protection and security measures in place to protect vulnerable players. On top of this, there aren’t any assurances that your funds will be handled in a responsible manner. Licensed operators usually hold player money in accounts separate from their own, or that of any other players – there’s no guarantee this will happen with an unlicensed bookie.

You can spot offshore gambling sites by looking at the website’s domain name. Domains ending in .EU or .AG don’t hold a license to operate in North Dakota and should be avoided.

Will it be safe to bet on sports in North Dakota?

Given that North Dakota has strict gambling regulations in place, if sports betting were to be legalized the activity would almost certainly be safe and fair. North Dakota’s gambling laws place a strong emphasis on player protection and safety meaning that any sports betting regulations in the future are likely to follow a similar framework.

With that being said, it’s important to gamble responsibly and never bet more than you can afford to. If you’re concerned about your gambling habits, or know someone that may be suffering from problem gambling, there are several educational resources available to you. The National Council on Problem Gambling provides a number of screening tools for North Dakota residents. Gambler ND, another problem gambling service, aims to promote awareness, education, research, prevention and treatment for problem gambling and is run by Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota.

You can contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline via:

Call: 1-800-522-4700

Text: 1-800-522-4700

Live chat

You can contact Gambler ND via:

Call: 1-877-702-7848

Email: lvig@lssnd.org

Live chat

Online form

Who regulates gambling in North Dakota?

North Dakota’s charitable gambling, tribal casinos and state lottery are overseen by the gaming division within the Attorney General’s office. The gaming division is responsible for regulating, enforcing and administering charitable gambling in the state. The state’s horse racing industry, however, is overseen by the North Dakota Racing Commission. The commission is responsible for regulating live and simulcast racing in North Dakota.

How old do I have to be to gamble in North Dakota?

The legal age to bet on horses at a racetrack, play bingo and the state lottery is 18. If you wish to play at a casino or bet on horses at an off-track betting parlor you must be 21.

The journey to legal and regulated sports betting in North Dakota

1976 – Charitable gambling in the form of bingo and raffle games were legalized in the state.

1987 – North Dakota legalized pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing for charitable organizations.

1988 – Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulation Act (IGRA), establishing rules and regulations for tribal gaming operations. This gave federally recognized tribes the ability to enter into tribal-state compacts for gambling.

1992 – Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), prohibiting sports betting across US states. Four states were made exempt from the law: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. These states had legal sports betting regulations in place.

The state entered tribal-state compacts with five tribes, allowing the tribes to open casinos in North Dakota. The same year, tribal casinos opened for business.

2002 – North Dakota voters approved the state lottery.

2004 – The North Dakota Lottery officially launched operations.

2005 – Representative James Kasper introduced an online poker bill. The bill was unsuccessful and made very little progress.

2012 – Charitable gambling laws were amended to lower taxes.

2013 – Tribal-state compacts were amended to include Class III casino gambling. This allowed tribal casinos to offer a variety of casino table games.

2018 – On 14 May, the Supreme Court reached a decision in the legal battle between New Jersey and the US sports leagues. In a 7 – 2 vote, it was agreed that one of the clauses in PASPA violated the Tenth Amendment, as it commandeered power from states to regulate their own gambling industries. This paved the way for all US states to decide whether or not to legalize sports betting. In the weeks after the repeal of PASPA, a number of US sportsbooks launched across the country.

2019 – In January, lawmakers introduce two bills that could legalize sports betting in North Dakota.

In February one of the bills, HB 1295 failed to make it past the House of Representatives. The Second bill, HB 1254, was successful with a vote of 52-38.

Although sports betting legislation has been introduced, it is important to remember that sports betting in North Dakota is yet to be legalized. Stayed tuned to BettingUS for more updates on sports betting in North Dakota.