Are You Planning to Bet on Sports This Year? You Better Think About Legalizing Sports Wagering For Adults!
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) The North Dakota House is demanding that residents decide whether sports betting should be legal in the state, mirroring a trend throughout the U.S. that is resistant to gambling. Currently, North Dakota is the only state to outright ban sports betting. Two separate bills have been introduced in the House that would have legalized sports betting. Although no clear specifics have been released by the House, neither bill has passed yet. Both will likely face heavy opposition in the Senate.
House Bill 1310 passed the Senate last Wednesday, but will face a tough fight in the House. Proponents of the bill say it doesn’t violate the rights of individuals and is therefore constitutional. Opponents argue that House Bill 1310 goes against the basic concepts of a free market. As written, the bill would require all licensed sportsbooks to offer their services to all individuals regardless of whether they are residents of the state.
Many experts say the House may not have the power to pass the bill legally given its lack of a vote by the House, but it is widely expected that the bill will become law within the next two years. A recent survey by an online gambling think tank indicates that over twenty percent of North Dakota residents are interested in legal betting on sports. While the idea of placing bets on sports with a legal license may seem absurd, many sportsbook operators are taking advantage of this trend by opening online accounts.
In recent years, two of the state’s largest full service casinos have announced plans to launch a number of new casinos in the upcoming years. These ambitious moves come as the industry lures new entrepreneurs in anticipation of the legalized sports betting boom that appears to be on the horizon. In addition to the Grand Prairie casinos, another two gambling companies have applied for permits to build additional casinos in Fargo. These companies will join a list of more than a dozen local and regional gambling establishments that have applied for permits to expand their operations in North Dakota. These companies include Radisson Hotel and Casino, North Dakota State Employees Credit Union, and the Fargo News-Miner. It is not uncommon for additional companies to surface during the course of this upcoming boom.
The push for new legislation comes as North Dakota is enjoying a tourism boost. Approximately eleven million visitors visit the state each year. The increase in visitors has led to increases in business activity at the various gaming facilities across the state. There have also been a number of rumors that the tribal gaming industry could be negatively impacted by the creation of new gambling opportunities in state-owned lands.
The Gaming Commission of North Dakota, which oversees all state-run gaming facilities, has been critical of the proposed legislation. “This bill does not do anything to solve the problems that exist within the gaming industry in North Dakota,” said Heidi Greicens, a spokesperson for the commission. “It is important for us to look into any new legislation carefully before it becomes law.” Additionally, Greicens expressed concern over the legality of the bill. “I’m not sure if there are enough votes to pass it out of committee, but we will certainly have to look into this issue,” she said.
On the other side of the fence are the proponents of legalized sports betting. Many North Dakotans and members of the local business community believe that gambling should be legalized both on the state level and at the national level. “People are starting to realize that there is a legitimate economic interest in developing this technology,” said Chadwick Smith, owner and CEO of Atlantic City Casinos. He is currently in the process of putting together a committee of local businessmen that will draft a pro-gambling measure for the upcoming New York State Legislature. Once it’s passed, it will be eligible for implementation throughout the entire country.
While there’s no guarantee that legalized sports betting will happen anytime soon, it seems that there’s a strong contingent of lawmakers and local officials who are eager to legalize wagering on all levels – not just the state level. If you live in North Dakota and are seriously interested in wagering on sports, make sure that you learn about your rights before wagering any money. It may be the best move you ever make!