North Dakota is known for many different things. One that stands out to me is the nickname. The Flickertail state is the 19th largest state in the nation with around 70,000 square miles. Here, there are under one million residents and is ranked the 48th largest in population with just more than 750,000 residents.
North Dakota has hundreds of gambling operations with charity objectives, several tribal casinos, pari-mutuel wagering, and multi-state lotteries, being one of the states in the whole country with more gambling establishments per capita.
Gambling History in North Dakota
Charitable gaming is legal in North Dakota since 1977, and it’s regulated by a commission that depends on the state attorney’s office. This regulator is the one granting licenses for the non-profit organizations host bingo, poker, raffles, blackjack, and many other games. There are approximately 800 charitable casino operations In South Dakota, but slots is one game that is not available on charitable gaming due to legal restrictions.
To be awarded a license any organization needs to use their profits for educational or charitable purposes, which makes that the organizations in fact getting those licenses to partner with restaurants or bars, in order to get these small charitable casinos running.
Tribal casinos became legal in the 1990s with the signing of gaming compacts with the state. 1999 and 2013 were the years that brought the signing of new deals that lead to the construction of over 20 casinos in the state, five of which already mid-sized. Poker, bingo, table games and slots are part of the game offer, as common in most casinos.
Among the tribal state casinos, we find the Dakota Magic Casino, in Hankinson, the Prairie Knights Casino, in Fort Yates, the Spirit Lake Casino, in Devils Lake, the 4 Bears Casino & Lodge, and the Sky Dancer Casino and Resort in Belcourt.
These casinos have hundreds of hotel rooms and games, including the roulette, blackjack, craps and slots and are the biggest of North Dakota, even if there are also several other smaller tribal casino operations in the state.
1990 was also the year when pari-mutuel was legalized in North Dakota, and Chippewa Downs Racetrack and North Dakota Horse Park are the two horse racing facilities operating. In 2004 the North Dakota Lottery was established by the state, but no state lottery exists per se, only multi-state lotteries.
Gambling in North Dakota
As mentioned above, North Dakota is one of the very few states that does not offer a state lottery, but it does take part in five multi-state lotteries, since 2004. Mega Millions, Powerball, Hot Lotto and Wild Card 2 are some of the games included on these lotteries.
Within the United States there are just 14 states which don’t have a state lottery. Their reasoning is mainly due to the fact that they don’t allow gambling. Other states don’t have a lottery because it takes revenue away from the existing land-based casinos.
In North Dakota, players have the ability to check out a good number of casinos. Some of the casinos here include Sky Dancer Hotel and Casino, Spirit Lake Casino, Turtle Mountain Chippewa, Prairie Knights and a few others.
Players in North Dakota will need to be 21 in order to enter a casino for game play. Like many of the older states, players can use pari-mutuel betting. This includes racing for horses where players can bet from the track as well as bet off of the track at several different locations.
Pari-mutuel betting on the track is available to players who are 18 and over and pari-mutuel betting for players off the track is for players who are 21 and over. The 18 and up gaming styles here include; Charity Bingo and Pull Tabs.
Curiosity: In 2005 a bill was created in North Dakota making online poker legal, but the US Department of Justice said it was against federal law, bringing down those efforts. Also, online casinos are illegal in the state, leaving only offshore online casinos for the residents of the state to play, even if that is illegal too.
The only legal online gambling that exists in North Dakota is horse racing and the online lottery subscriptions, and legal online casinos or slots don’t seem to be on the near-future political agenda.