There is no legal North Dakota sports betting and that’s not going to change in 2020. Legislators didn’t submit any bills to legalize ND sports betting in 2020 after a failed effort in 2019.
It’s unclear what sports betting in North Dakota would look like, considering the lack of commercial gaming in the state. The state does have a lottery, multiple tribal casinos, and plenty of charitable gaming locations, however.
The failed attempt in 2019 would have authorized those charitable gaming locations to accept sports bets.
When will online ND sports betting launch?
The timeline is completely unclear for any sports betting in North Dakota, including any potential for online sports betting.
North Dakota could opt to follow an online-only model like Tennessee, which had no commercial gaming prior to legalizing sports betting last year.
Without online sports betting and remote registration, it would likely be hard for North Dakota to optimize the tax revenue from sports betting. The state ranks 47th in the US in population density.
It’s also unknown if the state lottery would want to offer ND sports betting at their locations. The lottery is different from most state lotteries as it only allows multistate games, such as Powerball.
Previously submitted legislation that would have authorized retail North Dakota sports betting through charitable gaming operators did not include mobile betting.
Recent North Dakota sports betting news
Legal sports betting options in North Dakota
There are currently no options for legal sports betting in North Dakota.
There are sportsbook websites and apps that claim they can accept sports bets from within the state. Those websites are technically unlicensed offshore operators that offer no consumer protections and operate illegally in the US.
There are no websites that are licensed to accept bets from anywhere in the United States. All betting sites are licensed by jurisdictions and not federally.
These offshore, unlicensed operators can choose to not pay out a bet or close a website without returning customer funds. No bettor in the US would have any legal recourse against the operators.
Daily fantasy sports operators do allow tournament entries from North Dakota. While it’s not sports betting, residents can still take part in real-money tournaments with the biggest operators like DraftKings and FanDuel.
Most popular sports to bet on in North Dakota
North Dakota has no professional sports teams so there are no easy to identify home favorites. Football will likely be the top sport, as it is in most states, though hockey could be a favorite to rank among the top sports as well.
North Dakota also does not have any major Division I college sports teams. North Dakota State and the University of North Dakota have their loyal fans, of course, but both are in the lower NCAA FCS college football division.
One team that could benefit from those local allegiances is the Philadelphia Eagles. Carson Wentz, the team’s star quarterback, is a former North Dakota State Bison.
North Dakota and Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily fantasy sports contests are not expressly legal in North Dakota, but they are not illegal either.
The state operates in a gray-area like many of the other states in the US that haven’t outlawed the competitions but also don’t regulate or tax them.
This means operators like DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo can accept entries from within North Dakota.
Is horse racing legal in North Dakota?
Yes, horse racing and parimutuel betting are legal in North Dakota.
There are two horse tracks in North Dakota: Chippewa Downs and ND Horse Park.
Lien Games Racing also has four off-track betting facilities licensed by the North Dakota Racing Commission.
Lien Games is also one of four advance deposit wagering sites licensed by the commission. The others:
- 123 Gaming
North Dakota sports betting timeline
2019: ND tries but falls short
Two bills that looked to legalize sports betting as a game of chance failed last year, though one made it farther than the other.
Both bills would have allowed charitable gaming organizations to offer betting on sports. HB 1295 would have limited betting to just pro sports, though that was quickly defeated in the House.
The House did, however, pass HB 1254 on to the Senate. This bill would have allowed betting on collegiate sports as well, but failed without discussion on the Senate floor.
North Dakota sports betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in North Dakota?
No, sports betting is not legal in the state. There’s currently nowhere in North Dakota that accepts legal sports wagers. After a failed effort in 2019, there was no attempt to legalize sports betting in 2020.
North Dakota has a couple of options when it comes to how sports betting could be legalized. Previous legislation would have legalized sports betting through charitable gaming operators.
The state could also choose to legalize sports betting through its lottery, or it could opt for an untethered approach similar to Tennessee.
Can I bet on sports on my phone in North Dakota?
No. Without passing a sports betting bill, there can be no legal betting on mobile phones in North Dakota.
There are some sportsbook websites and apps that offer US citizens the ability to bet from wherever in the country, including North Dakota. But those sportsbooks are operating without a license, which means there is no protection for anyone that decides to bet with that sportsbook.
That means the sports bettor that wins with that sportsbook may not get their bet paid out, or their account could be shut down without seeing the funds returned.