North Dakota Legalizing Tribal Sportsbooks

North Dakota is probably not the first state you think of when discussing the sports betting industry in the United States, but that could soon change. International Gaming Technology is looking to break into North Dakota, and the company has a deal in place.

Last Friday, International Gaming Technology (IGT) announced that it has reached a deal with the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. This band of Chippewa Indians currently operates two tribal casinos in North Dakota and is looking to offer sports betting as well.

The information about this new deal was sent out in a press release, and sports betting is included in this new partnership. IGT will provide the tribes with sports betting services that include self-serve kiosks.

The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians is hoping to launch sports betting soon to become the first in that region to offer full-fledged sports betting. Montana did launch sports betting earlier in 2020 at retail kiosks, and South Dakota is looking to legalize sports betting in November.

The two casinos operated by the tribal group are in Trenton and Belcourt. The casino in Trenton is close to the Montana border, but the Belcourt casino is in the northern part of North Dakota.

These two groups did not mention a specific launch date in the press release, and some work will have to be done before retail sports betting can be offered. Kiosks will need to be installed and tested, and the casinos will need to clear space for sports betting to take place.

The Sky Dancer Casino in Belcourt currently offers a small selection of both gaming machines and table games. Grand Treasure Casino in Trenton features slots, video poker, and keno, but that location does not offer any table games.

Still No Sports Betting Legislation

State lawmakers made no effort to legalize sports betting in 2020 after a bill failed in 2019. There were actually a pair of bills introduced last year, but only one of the bills made any traction.

House Bill 1254 aimed to legalize sports betting throughout the state, but there were very few details included in that piece of legislating. HB1254 was able to pass through the House, but it died in the Senate.

North Dakota has some very strict gambling rules, and all gambling must be done inside of a tribal casino. Charitable gaming and horse/dog racing is also allowed under state law, but sports betting has yet to be passed.

Tribal casinos in the state don’t need permission from the state to offer sports betting, but this deal could push lawmakers to passing new rules to regulate the industry.

IGT Operating in Other States


IGT has wasted little time in striking deals throughout the United States as the industry has started to grow. The company already provides sports betting in 14 states throughout the country, and that list has grown quickly over the last 24 months.

IGT is a major player in huge sports betting markets such as New Jersey and Nevada, but the company has launched in other states as well. Illinois launched sports betting on March 9, 2020, and IGT is already powering sports betting in the Land of Lincoln.

The state of Washington is the only state in the US that has legalized tribal-only sports betting, but that could change soon. California is also exploring this option, and that idea has generated tremendous support.

There are at least six other states throughout the country that offer sports betting at tribal casinos, including Michigan in the Midwest. Colorado recently made history when the Sky Ute Tribe became the first in the US to offer statewide mobile betting options.

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