North Dakota Sports Betting Laws

North Dakota Sports Betting LawsDespite its relatively small population of less than one million residents populating its wide-open spaces, gambling in North Dakota offers the state’s citizens almost 30 land-based gambling establishments to choose from.

North Dakota’s relatively liberal gambling laws offers a choice of gaming options, including horse racing online, a state lottery, live poker, and charitable gambling. North Dakota has even examined legalizing online gambling options.

Gambling Type Legal Land-Based Legal Online
Sports Betting No No
Casinos Yes No
Fantasy-Sports (DFS) N/A Yes
eSports No No
Poker Yes No
Horse-Racing Yes Yes
Lottery Yes No
Charitable-Gambling Yes No

North Dakota Gambling Tax Rate

North Dakota has a 5.54% state tax on gambling winnings.

Large wins attract Federal taxes.

North Dakota Gambling Age

Gambling Type Age
Casinos 21
DFS 18
Horse-Racing 18 Track / 21 OTB
Lottery 18
Charitable-Gambling No Age Limit

Sports Betting Laws in North Dakota

In the early spring of 2018, New Jersey won its legal challenge against the Federal’s Government nationwide ban on betting on sports. With its ground-breaking ruling, now from May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court deems sporting betting ban illegal. The ending of the Federal law prohibiting legal sports betting facilitated a gift for all 50 states of the union. The decision-making on legalizing sports betting was granted to each state for self-determination.

Being the best prepared for the ruling, New Jersey legalized sports betting within a matter of weeks (joining already long legal Nevada) and West Virginia, Mississippi, and Delaware joined the states enjoying the sports betting party shortly thereafter. Pennsylvania, New York and Rhode Island are expected to legalize sports betting for their citizens and visitors sometime later in 2018/19 and a further 15 states have legislation prepared for discussion in their respective State Houses.

North Dakota Sports Betting

At the current time, North Dakota has no other legal sports betting options beyond the options of DFS, and horse and greyhound racing.

To this point in time, you are unable to place a bet in North Dakota on your favourite teams like the Detroit Tigers, the Green Bay Packers or the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Criminal Code of North Dakota on Gambling doesn’t look kindly upon those indulging themselves in illegal sports betting, and the official definition of gambling in North Dakota is wide enough to include betting on sports.

As no bills on sports betting legislation have made it to the State Legislature, North Dakota is unlikely to introduce legislation to legalize sports betting within the next few months, but times are changing rapidly.

Given the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the national ban on sports betting, things could change quickly in North Dakota given its relatively easy-going laws on other forms of gambling. We will let you know if the situation begins to change.

Online Sports Betting in North Dakota

Online sports betting currently sits outside online gambling laws in North Dakota, (i.e. North Dakota does not currently specify nor authorize, regulate, or even prohibit sports betting online).

However, there are historic precedents to North Dakota attempting to become one of the states in which gambling online is not only accepted but legislated as 100% legal.

Back in 2005, State House Representative James Kasper introduced HCR 3035 in an attempt to have North Dakota become the first state in the US to legalize online poker and internet gambling in general. Eventually, the bill was defeated in North Dakota’s State House, however, given that the bill progressed as far as it did offers good signs that North Dakota lawmakers whilst not yet embracing the change at least are open-minded enough to consider transformations in the state’s codes.

Online players looking for legal sports betting options in North Dakota can legally play real money DFS competitions in the state and gamble online on horse and greyhound racing without running afoul of the state gambling statutes.

Casinos in North Dakota

There are five Native American Tribes throughout North Dakota and they have built and operate 6 casinos in the state (under Chapter 54-58 the North Dakota Tribal-Gaming Compact Law), with each of the tribes operating at least one casino each.

Whilst there are no commercial casinos in North Dakota, the state has a heritage of operating what are known colloquially as ‘Charitable Casinos’.

While many states only permit bingo and raffles for nonprofit organizations, North Dakota takes it a step further. Charities offer blackjack. Licensed Bars can offer these charity blackjack games with a maximum bet of $25, to increase drink and food sales as long as the profits from the blackjack goes directly to charity organizations.

North Dakota’s Land-Based Casinos

There are 6 Native American Tribal casinos in North Dakota. Each offers slot machines and video poker, and some of the larger Tribal casinos offer blackjack, craps, roulette and live poker.

Charity Casinos may also legally offer off-track horse racing betting markets in addition to the blackjack mentioned above, however, none have currently taken up the offer to do so.

Online Casinos in North Dakota

As mentioned above, despite making an unsuccessful attempt at online casino legalization in 2005, North Dakota determines unlicensed-and-unregulated gambling (including gambling online) as illegal under the codified State Laws.

North Dakota’s online players are recommended to exclusively take part in LEGAL real money online betting games ONLY (i.e. DFS and Horse and Greyhound Racing). North Dakota’s online players should refrain from playing ANY online casinos (either off-shore or U.S. based online casinos) until state lawmakers facilitate the legalization of online casinos.

Horse Racing Betting in North Dakota

The Horse Racing Industry in North Dakota is administered by the North Dakota Racing Commission and the body is responsible for approving racing events, animal welfare, simulcasting and management and licensing of the state racetracks.

Track Side: North Dakota is home to a sole racetrack, which is odd considering the openness of the Tribal Casino and Charity Casinos.

An unsuccessful bill (SB 2221) to extend horse racing and ‘racinos’ with slot machines was defeated as recently as April 2017. However, the vote was close (only one vote the difference) and shows that the North Dakota State House has an appetite for gambling change.

Off-Track Betting (OTB): OTB betting is offered at a wide and well-established network of multiple OTB locations through the state of North Dakota.

Online Betting on Horse Racing in North Dakota: Horse Racing Betting online is available to residents of North Dakota. All of the racebooks are user-friendly, offering online betting direct from your phone, tablet, other mobile device or home computer. Available to North Dakotans over the age of 18, online horse racing betting sites offer attractive odds on thoroughbred racing in the U.S. and major horse racing meetings worldwide.

North Dakota’s Daily Fantasy Sports Law

Federal lawmakers in the United States are of the opinion that Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions are not considered to be gambling, as under Federal Law they are deemed to be skills-based games, not games of chance. Accordingly, each state has been encouraged by Federal lawmakers to declare their own position on the legality of DFS competitions.

The North Dakota State Attorney General and legislature have not been in any rush to address the issue. For now, residents of North Dakota can continue to bet on DFS contests without legal impediment.

How DFS is played

Playing DFS is a totally different pastime to traditional sports betting. In a DFS league, you are supplied with a salary cap which is used to ‘buy’ players for your virtual team. Every player in the league (NHL, MLB, NBA, NFL, PGA Golf, MMA and college basketball and football are all on offer) is priced according to their perceived virtual market value based on prior seasonal and career performances. If you wish to draft the best 3 pointer shooter in the NBA, for example, you’re going to have to spend a high percentage of your salary cap on that single star hot shot.

Once you have drafted and ‘paid’ for your team, take a seat, watch the games and calculate your team’s points. Your team’s real-life counterparts amass stats (touchdowns, goals, assists, rebounds, strikeouts, yards gained, receptions, etc.) in the real world and as such, your fantasy league team accumulates points online. The person whose team accumulates the most points, wins the league whether it be weekly, regular season or a stand-alone playoff ‘league’.

Prize money is collated from the money earnt from each of the millions of player’s minimal entry fees of just few dollars for each competition.

Daily, weekly or season-long DFS competition winners can potentially receive as much as $1 million per competition, per major league.

Poker Laws in North Dakota

Live Poker can be played a couple of the state’s Tribal Casinos, and social poker is also legal in North Dakota, although maximum bets of $25 per hand apply.

The laws concerning Poker at the state’s ‘Charity Casinos’ are quite relaxed, allowing tournament prize pools worth up to $12,000, however, State Statute 53-06.1-07.2 of the charitable gaming laws notes that charities can’t hold poker events more than twice per year.

Other Charitable Poker Regulations include;

  • Maximum single bets are limited to $1.
  • No more than three raises per round.
  • Non-tournament entry fees can’t exceed $2 per each half-hour of player.
  • Tournament prize pools can’t exceed 90% of the gross proceeds.

Online Poker Laws in North Dakota

Online Poker is not regulated in North Dakota and is consequently, is considered to be illegal. See the above sections ‘Online Sports Betting in North Dakota’ and ‘Online Casinos in North Dakota’ for full details.

North Dakota eSports Betting

Soon, when North Dakota’s residents enter the fray of legal sports betting, betting on eSports in the state will transform the available gambling options. As one of a new generation of ‘family-friendly’ forms of sports betting, eSports betting will grow quickly as a ‘clean’ type of gambling unscathed by a murky legal history.

Why are ‘eSports’ growing so quickly now?

eSports (otherwise known as ‘competitive gaming’ in popular multi-player online video games like Call of Duty, Street Fighter, Rocket League, Mortal Kombat and others) are the biggest growth area in sports betting worldwide.

A huge gambling scene has grown up around eSports. From its early history in the underground-LAN-gaming-community, mainstream sports respectability has evolved. Professional teams and players compete in a worldwide series of tournaments that offer enormous prize pools worth millions of dollars, and attract huge live crowds and millions of online viewers.

International sportsbooks now offer competitive betting markets and attractive odds on the major network of global eSports tournaments.

Expect eSports betting markets to be among the first legal betting markets framed by the bookies and available soon in your favorite legal North Dakota sportsbook.

Benefits of Gambling to North Dakota

  • Tribal Casinos have brought new jobs (more than 730 new jobs in total in 2017) and an increased level of economic prosperity to reservations in North Dakota. More than 90% of all Tribal Casino jobs in North Dakota are filled by Native Americans.
  • Tribal Casino Gaming income is used to fund tribal government, economic development, and to support various tribal education, health and welfare programs whilst allowing tribal values to prosper in communities experiencing strong economic growth.
  • Across the spectrum of the wider community in North Dakota, gambling adds more than an estimated $29 million for state’s budget income from a total $130 revenue across the industry. Among many other projects, the money is used to fund improvements in North Dakota education, daycare, mental health assistance, veteran’s care, and police and fire departments across the state.

History of North Dakota Gambling

1976; Charitable Bingo & Raffles legalized in the state of North Dakota.

1987; Horse Racing Betting legalized in North Dakota.

1992; First Tribal Casinos open their doors

2002; State Lottery begins in North Dakota.

2005; Online gaming legalization bill defeated in the State Legislature.

2012; Taxes reduced on Charitable Gambling.



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