North Dakota Senate Strikes Down Sports Betting Bill

Legislators have had a tough time trying to legalize sports betting within North Dakota. With many states in need of revenue during the pandemic, 2021 has been a year for some to move quickly in legalizing sports betting. North Dakota was trying to get in early two years ago, where they had a bill miss being passed. Since then, more than 20 states now have legalized sports betting. North Dakota had hoped to allow residents to vote on sports betting in the Fall, but the bill was struck down this week.

North Dakota 1Prior History

North Dakota has been strict on allowing sports betting or any gambling in their time. Lawmakers and voters have begun to come around, but it was not enough in 2021. Two years ago, the state saw a bill that would allow a new form of gambling legal. This was shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court had lifted the ban. This ban being lifted allowed states to make up their minds on whether they want to allow sports betting and how to regulate and tax.

Offshore books can operate in the state, like any other state. Legalized states have seen a dropoff in offshore use, which comes with its cons as it is less safe for the consumer and money is moved in and out of offshore accounts. The state also misses out on licensing and taxes for operators. North Dakota has fallen behind a bit with no real regulation of any sort, even without being legal.

Senate Rejects HR3032

House Resolution 3032 was voted down this week by a single vote, 23-24. The bill simply allowed North Dakota residents to vote on whether they would allow sports betting in the state. This bill would have just allowed the residents to make their own choice. Instead, the Senate panel decided for them. There have been issues like this in the past, as North Dakota residents had to allow a state lottery, where they passed a ballot measure. The main issues against the bill continued to be the addiction issues. Sen. Scott Meyer voiced his support, wanting the state to control an industry that already operates illegally.

There continues to be a real battle within North Dakota for sports gambling and after a 20 year battle for things like the lottery and simply allowing residents to vote on the issue. If the Senate can’t even agree to support the state to choose for themselves, North Dakota seems like a long way away from any resolution.

With this being dead now in 2021 with a budget deadline looming, it is unlikely North Dakota will see sports betting. 2022 will be the next chance, but a bill that instantly makes it regulated and legal would speed up the process. If it is a voting bill, then North Dakota is years away from instituting regulation if it becomes approved.

Jason Guilbault has been writing and podcasting in the fantasy sports world for over five years. You can find his work at Daily Fantasy Cafe. He is an avid Tottenham fan, and follows the Boston sports teams. When he isn’t diving into stats, he is enjoying the outdoors or down at the local brewery.

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