North Dakota Sports Betting

In 2019, the bill(s) to legalize sports betting in North Dakota all failed with very little hope of any changes in the foreseeable future.

Many argued the con’s that legalizing sports betting would bring, including: exacerbating gambling addiction and the immoral high ground of using more gambling revenue to prop up the state tax revenue. Some pro sports betting advocates argued that money is already being placed at online sportsbooks and therefore the state should capture this revenue.

These pro and con arguments, in my opinion, reek of double standards or lack of common sense.

In reference to the table outlining gambling in North Dakota, you can see that gambling at native American casinos, come in at just over $1 billion. This is a huge amount in comparison to offshore online sports betting, which pulls in only $3.7 in turnover. Let’s allow this to sink in. We aren’t talking about profits either, we are talking about amounts wagered.

Only $3.7m wagered on sports betting at offshore online casino, and yet some argue the detrimental impact that this would have on gambling addiction. I don’t deny that any form of gambling can lead to gambling addition, however, if you are truly concerned about gambling addiction, then perhaps you should turn the tap off for horse racing betting, or even charitable gambling which includes Pull tabs and bingo. These other forms of gambling dwarf that of sports betting.

Secondly, the moral high ground of not using gambling as a form to prop up the state revenue coffers is hypocritical, there is no way sports betting would generate that same amount of revenue as other forms of gambling. Assuming net profits is approximately 50% of turnover, that’s a paltry $1.9m going to state tax revenue. This is a drop in the ocean. Again, if you are truly concerned about using gambling to prop up state tax revenue, then perhaps you should focus your energy on banning casino gambling and horse racing.

Thirdly, to argue against pro advocates that say gambling is already happening at online sportsbooks (offshore) so we should grab that lost revenue for ourselves. You just gotta laugh. By the time you whack on top administration costs of a department to regulate the industry, limited sports betting volume, infrastructure and software development costs, there wouldn’t be anything left for the state to tax!

I am neither an advocate or against sports betting, but just pointing out the flaws in arguments put forward.

Unfortunately, sports betting in North Dakota is going to remain illegal indefinitely.

The exception is sports betting on offshore online sportsbooks.

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Gambling in North Dakota

The below table highlights the proportion of wagers at native American casinos vs offshore online sportsbooks. Even the combined amounts wagers at offshore online casino, sportsbooks and pokie site doesn’t even make up 1% of casino turnover. I dare say, if sports betting were to be legalized in North Dakota, they must include mobile sports betting. Without it, the entire regulatory and implementation costs will create an unsustainable industry.

Gambling Types2019 US$m (Turnover)
Native American Casinos1,020.7
Horse Race Betting764.5
Charitable Gaming306.6
North Dakota State Lottery32.4
Casino – Offshore Online3.8
Sports Betting – Offshore Online 3.7
Poker – Offshore Online2.0

North Dakota Online Sports Betting

Unbeknownst to many, online sports betting has been occurring for many years. North Dakota sports betting turnover for 2019 was $3.7 million, wagered via online sport betting sites. These online sport betting sites are offshore and are open to accepting US players.

Is this illegal?

It is a gray area. The current state laws do not clearly articulate whether gambling offshore online is illegal or not. Therefore, you will find many online sports books (and online casinos) accepting US players from states that have ambiguous gambling laws – North Dakota is one of those states.

Is it dangerous?

There are two aspects to this question.

Firstly, will you get caught or fined?

I highly doubt it. Till this day, there has been no precedence of anyone being charged with breaking the law for playing at offshore online sports betting books or offshore online casinos.

Secondly, are offshore sports betting books trustworthy and reliable?

Very much so. They have been operating in the market for many years and sports betting is a clear cut outcome (when compared to online casino games). It’s therefore extremely difficult to argue that an outcome of a sports bet is wrong.

How can I find an online Sports Book?

The most popular offshore sports book is Bovada. It is the largest and has a long standing history of operating a sports book for US citizens.

Do NOT place a bet at an unlicensed sports book operating offshore. Unlicensed sportsbooks may not be reliable. Although they may offer great Welcome Bonuses, their promise to pay any winnings may be empty. Keep with the which are trusted and the big brand names.

How can I place a Sports Bet onshore?

It is illegal to run a sports book or place a sports bet within the borders of North Dakota. Other than placing a sports bet at an offshore online sports book the only other option is to travel interstate to where sports betting has been legalized.

North Dakota Sports Bars

Wild Bill’s Sports Saloon – Fargo

1776 45th St S, Fargo, North Dakota

Wow… you have to come and visit this joint. But this place get’s really busy so try and avoid the peak hour especially if you are coming in a big group. A traditional old western kinda feel, this sports bar really rocks with their friendly service, delicious cooking (try the chicken wings!) and wide variety of beer. Has a nice little outside patio. Come and watch your favorite games whilst enjoying the comforts of eating at Wild Bill’s!

Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar

1640 13th Ave E, West Fargo, North Dakota

This is a popular sports bar chain across the US. The North Dakota branch has received some rave reviews. A cross between a bar and a restaurant, the theme is modern and relaxed, coupled with great food and drinks. They have everybody’s favorite, PIZZA! plus fish and chips, chicken wings and pasta. You will enjoy the quality of service here!

North Dakota Sport Teams

Bordering States

South Dakota | Minnesota | Montana