Gambling in North Dakota

North Dakota

Despite its relatively small population of less than one million residents populating its wide-open spaces, gambling in North Dakota offers the state’s citizens almost 30 land-based gambling establishments to choose from.

North Dakota’s relatively liberal gambling laws offers a choice of gaming options, including horse racing online, a state lottery (also available online), live poker, sports betting and charitable gambling. North Dakota has even examined legalizing further online gambling options, but nothing has eventuated further into the possibility of introducing something similar to New Jersey online gambling sites.

North Dakota Casino Gambling

There are five Native American Tribes throughout North Dakota and they have built and operate Six casinos in the state (under Chapter 54-58 the North Dakota Tribal-Gaming Compact Law), with each of the tribes operating at least one casino each. Each offers slot machines and video poker, and some of the larger Tribal casinos offer sports betting, blackjack, craps, roulette and live poker.

Whilst there are no commercial casinos in North Dakota, the state has a heritage of operating what are known colloquially as ‘Charitable Casinos’.

While many states only permit bingo and raffles for non-profit organizations, North Dakota takes it a step further. Charities offer blackjack. Licensed Bars can offer these charity blackjack games with a maximum bet of $25, to increase drink and food sales as long as the profits from the blackjack goes directly to charity organizations.

Charity Casinos may also legally offer off-track horse racing betting markets in addition to the blackjack mentioned above, however, none have currently taken up the offer to do so.

Online Casinos in North Dakota

Despite making an unsuccessful attempt at online casino legalization in 2005, North Dakota determines unlicensed-and-unregulated gambling (including gambling online) as illegal under the codified State Laws. Different forms of online gaming require to be regulated and licensed firstly in North Dakota before the games become codified under the State Law.

Poker in North Dakota

The laws concerning Poker at the state’s ‘Charity Casinos’ are quite relaxed, allowing tournament prize pools worth up to $12,000, however, State Statute 53-06.1-07.2 of the charitable gaming laws notes that charities can’t hold poker events more than twice per year.
Other Charitable Poker Regulations include;

  • Maximum single bets are limited to $1.
  • No more than three raises per round.
  • Non-tournament entry fees can’t exceed $2 per each half-hour of player.
  • Tournament prize pools can’t exceed 90% of the gross proceeds.

Social home poker games are also carved out under North Dakota State law, although a maximum betting limit per hand of $25 applies.

Poker Rooms

Live Poker can be played at a couple of the state’s Tribal Casinos (32 tables across six poker rooms), and social poker is also legal in North Dakota, although maximum bets of $25 per hand apply.

Online Poker Laws

Online Poker Laws are covered by the general gambling statutes – there are currently no discussions concerning a regulated online poker environment.

Please see the above section ‘Online Casinos in North Dakota’ for further explanation.

Benefits of Gambling to North Dakota

  • Tribal Casinos have brought new jobs (more than 730 new jobs in total in 2017) and an increased level of economic prosperity to reservations in North Dakota. More than 90% of all Tribal Casino jobs in North Dakota are filled by Native Americans.
  • Tribal Casino Gaming income is used to fund tribal government, economic development, and to support various tribal education, health and welfare programs whilst allowing tribal values to prosper in communities experiencing strong economic growth.
  • Across the spectrum of the wider community in North Dakota, gambling adds more than an estimated $29 million for state’s budget income from a total $130 revenue across the industry. Among many other projects, the money is used to fund improvements in North Dakota education, day-care, mental health assistance, veteran’s care, and police and fire departments across the state.

History of Online & Land-Based Gambling in North Dakota

1976: Charitable Bingo & Raffles legalized in the state of North Dakota.

1987: Horse Racing Betting legalized in North Dakota.

1992: First Tribal Casinos open their doors

2002: State Lottery begins in North Dakota.

2005: Online gaming legalization bill defeated in the State Legislature.

2012: Taxes reduced on Charitable Gambling.

2018: State Lottery goes online.

2021: North Dakota legalizes in-person sports betting

Click Here for Information about Sports Betting in North Dakota