Is Sports Betting Legal in North Dakota?

When it comes to gambling in North Dakota, things have been evolving lately. While the state may not have professional sports teams to bet on, there are still options available for those who want to bet on sports.
The absence of major sports teams may be one of the reasons why North Dakota hasn’t taken a straightforward approach to legalizing sportsbooks. However, the good news is that you can still place sports bets at tribal casinos. Since December 2021, they've been allowed to offer sports betting.

North Dakota Sports Betting Law

In 2023, North Dakota tried to pass a bill to legalize and regulate sports betting, but it didn't go anywhere. But you can still bet on sports at tribal casinos. These have been allowed to offer sports betting at the end of 2021. Just keep in mind there are some restrictions, like no betting on in-state college teams or individual college athletes. Additionally, offshore betting sites are a great way to get in on the action!

All of that being said, North Dakota offers more than their fair share of opportunities for bettors to get their fix in through other forms of gambling.

Strong Dose of Casino Options

Five tribal casinos populate North Dakota, while another five tribal establishments with more restrictive gaming licenses have also popped up across the region. This is a pretty big deal for a state that ranks 47th among the 50 states overall in citizenship, according to the 2016 consensus. Here are a few notable tribal casinos you can check out:

  • Dakota Magic Casino and Resort
  • Spirit Lake Casino and Resort
  • Four Bears Casino and Lodge
  • Sky Dancer Casino and Resort
  • Prairie Knights Casino and Resort

Big-company casinos are not explicitly illegal in North Dakota. Corporations are free to try opening their own establishments. But most conglomerates aren't likely to funnel a bunch of time and resources into low-volume areas like North Dakota, hence the monopolization of the casino market by tribes.

Daily Fantasy Sports: The Grayest of Areas

Talk about a weird non-stance. North Dakota acknowledged the existence of fantasy sports as early as 1994. They subsequently hedged on its legality, communicating that games of chance would be considered illegal while those of skill would be legal.

Skip ahead more than two decades, and they've still yet to provide definitive literature on the matter. No proposal to officially legalize daily fantasy sports is pending, and advertisements for companies like Draft Kings and FanDuel have been removed, but residents also aren't prohibited from registering for money leagues and competitions.

For now, until North Dakota shows a willingness or interest in providing clarification, the absence of a specific law can be interpreted as a tacit allowance.

Social Gambling is Okay...For the Most Part

Social gambling is permitted by the State of North Dakota to a degree. Charitable organizations still need licenses to operate large-scale events, and as an interesting oddity, at-home games toe the boundaries of legality if the buy-in or wager exceeds $25.

This obviously creates some complications for people who like to host weekly poker games or create semi-lucrative football pools, but the rule isn't closely monitored. Participants should be fine so long as they're not flaunting their bets or attempting to run a covert casino or sportsbook.


North Dakota Gambling Law Overview

Please see below for a more specific breakdown of what betting types are and aren't allowed in North Dakota at this time.

Casino Gambling: Legal

Tribal Gambling: Legal

Poker: Legal

Horse-Race Betting: Legal

Dog-Race Betting: Not legal

Lottery: Legal

Daily Fantasy Betting: Not specified (but it's existence has been acknowledged)

Social Gambling: Legal (with certain, albeit loosely enforced, restrictions)

Charitable Gambling: Legal

Online Gambling: Not specified


North Dakota Sports Teams

Please note that due to the absence of professional teams in North Dakota, we will split our focus between any in-house squads and the most popular professional factions that are located outside state lines.

Minnesota Wild (NHL)

Given North Dakota's relative proximity to Minnesota, a majority of their sporting interests lie with teams that play within said market. That includes Minnesota Wild.

The Wild have clinched postseason appearances in each of the past five years, losing in the in the first round during just one of those instances. This marks an impressive accomplishment for a franchise that's only technically been around for less than two decades.

Minnesota Vikings (NFL)

The Minnesota Vikings are perennially known for toying with the emotions and heart strings of their fans. They have enjoyed stretches of dominance throughout their existence, but their historical track record is steeped in disappointment. They have never won a Super Bowl, and they went 0-4 in those championship tilts between 1969 and 1976. Just think about that for a second: being close so many times, so friggin' often, and never once climbing that championship mountain.

What's happened in the years after those high-profile letdowns hasn't helped. The Vikings haven't made a Super Bowl appearance since 1976, and they've clinched five playoff bids since 2001.

Comparably gut-wrenching: Just when things began to turn around with Teddy Bridgewater under center, the franchise quarterback suffered a major injury in 2016. He missed the entire season, and his status in the coming years is unknown. Some around the league believe he'll never be the same. The Vikings need to hope those minds are wrong, lest they be relegated to another impromptu dark era.

Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA)

The Minnesota Timberwolves are the Vikings of the NBA. They've enjoyed one long stretch of notable success since joining the NBA in 1989—an eight-year stretch headlined by Kevin Garnett, an onslaught of 50-win seasons and eight straight playoff cameos.

That's all well good. But The Timberwolves lost in the first round seven times over the course of those eight tries, only reaching the Western Conference Finals once. They have missed the playoffs in every year since 2004, during which time multiple rebuilding reiterations have failed...miserably.

On the brighter side, the latest rebuild appears to be on the right track. The Timberwolves have no less than two All-Star candidates in Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns, and they could end up with one more if Andrew Wiggins ever pops.

So worry not, Timberwolves fans. Your absence from the playoffs should be over soon—if it's not already over by the time you read this.


North Dakota's Biggest Sporting Event of the Year: Motor Magic Festival

Held in Minot, North Dakota, the Motor Magic Festival is considered the biggest auto show in the "upper midwest." It's hard to determine which states exactly populate the upper midwest, so part of that distinction rings hollow. But still, this festival is a big deal in North Dakota.

It's held every year near the end of August or beginning of September, and functions like a multi-vehicle monster truck rally. There are demonstrations for military automobiles, classic car showcases, souped-up contemporary sedans and coupes, and so much more.


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Legal Online Gambling In North Dakota