North Dakota senators file bill for sports betting Legalization

Sports Betting

A house committee on Wednesday endorsed a resolution that would allow North Dakotans to decide if sports gambling should be allowed in the state.

The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee gave the bipartisan resolution a “do-pass” recommendation. It now goes to the full House for consideration.

“The only way to legalize this is to put this to a vote of the people of North Dakota,” said West Fargo Republican Rep. Michael Howe, who sponsored the resolution. “I feel the majority of North Dakotans want this.”

If approved by both chambers, the measure could appear on the November 2022 ballot, Howe said.

A bill that sets rules for the gambling operations will be forwarded by the legislative committee to the full House without an endorsement.

“Legalized sports wagering will actually make it harder to fix games,” Howe said. “Once legalized, sports wagering will be monitored, and any irregular activity will be easily detected. It is easier to fix games in an unmonitored environment, in which money flows under the radar.

North Dakotans also could put the matter to a vote themselves with an initiated measure. North Dakota’s Constitution gives citizens the right to bypass the Legislature and put a constitutional amendment directly on the ballot.