One of the biggest considerations for states when it comes to sports betting is losing dollars across state lines. In North Dakota, that isn’t really a huge consideration. While neighboring states may be pushing forward, North Dakota ranks 47th in population in the United States. We’ve seen other states with large land areas and relatively small populations not really worry too much about it, like Montana to the west and Alaska to the extreme northwest.

So, as a good chunk of the country moves forward with legalized sports betting, North Dakota is barely scratching the surface on the issue. North Dakota isn’t exactly a hub for gaming, as Native American lands have a handful of casinos in the Peace Garden State, but a recent push to expand gaming fell rather quickly in the state legislature. North Dakota is also a state that gets a lot of revenue from natural resources. The low population coupled with other revenue sources mean that North Dakota isn’t as desperate for the financial windfalls that sports betting will bring other states.

That means that it is a slow process, if it can even be considered a process. It would take a lot of steam from the politicians, but also the Indian tribes that control the casino gaming in the state to get any sort of change to the current legislation on the books. Neither side seems all that urgent to get those discussions going.

A lot of states that are moving slowly have commissioned studies to determine the economic impacts. North Dakota hasn’t even done that.

Recent News Stories About Sports Betting

John Hageman from the Bismarck Tribune penned a June 13, 2018 piece on the discussions, or lack thereof, regarding sports betting. The article notes that a recent push to expand gambling outside of tribal lands failed.

Problem gambling organizations in North Dakota are against sports betting, citing a concern about funding for additional programs to help with the increased number of problem gamblers.

The editorial staff at the Grand Forks Herald posted an op/ed piece in favor of legalized sports gambling, as it could provide additional revenues for education.

On KFGO Radio in Fargo, the issue of legalized sports betting was addressed shortly after the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA.


Eventually, North Dakota will probably join the ranks of the states that have adopted legalized sports betting, but it won’t be anytime soon. It may not even be within the next five years. There aren’t as many incentives in North Dakota as there are in other states. Fargo and Grand Forks are very close to the Minnesota border, so North Dakota could lose some monies there, but there just isn’t that same sense of urgency that we see in other states and really no reason there to be more.

Neighboring States