A major milestone
North Dakota will become the 28th state to offer legal sports betting if its retail sportsbook opening goes ahead as planned on Wednesday. According to local media, a retail sportsbook is about to open at the Dakota Magic Casino in Hankinson, about an hour away from Fargo. That said, the opening might not take place until January if there are any last-minute regulatory delays.
numerous viewing screens for live sports, VIP seating, as well as beverage and food services
The casino will offer a self-branded sportsbook in a newly renovated space. It will feature numerous viewing screens for live sports, VIP seating, as well as beverage and food services. The sportsbook will also offer betting windows and self-service kiosks for people to place their wagers. The kiosks and betting windows will open immediately, while the lounge will remain shuttered until early 2022.
The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe operates the casino through Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise (DNGE). It has onboarded gambling technology company IGT as the provider of the sportsbook product, deploying its popular PlaySports technology.
North Dakota’s new market
As of yet, the operator has not shared any details regarding a potential event or ceremony for the opening of the Dakota Magic Casino Sportsbook. There is also no indication if the sportsbook betting windows will remain open at all hours or if it will have certain limitations in place.
Until now, North Dakota residents looking to place legal wagers would have to cross state lines into Wyoming, Montana, or Deadwood in South Dakota. Both Wyoming and South Dakota introduced sports betting offerings earlier this year, while Montana has had wagering since 2019.
Currently, North Dakota can only offer retail sports betting, with the Dakota Magic Casino the only property able to provide wagering services for now. Only residents of at least 21 years old can bet according to North Dakota law. The tribe will also launch the Dakota Nation Sportsbook in South Dakota through its Dakota Sioux and Dakota Connection casinos.
What about online?
North Dakota has seen numerous attempts to introduce legal online betting. Earlier in 2021, legislators filed two different proposals with this aim. However, the bills faced significant resistance from existing tribal gambling operators, as well as the athletic departments of state colleges.
would likely only allow tribal operators to take part
As there is little to no commercial gambling in North Dakota, any model to legalize online sports betting would likely only allow tribal operators to take part. In encouraging news for North Dakota, state legislators in some other states, such as Connecticut and Arizona, eventually eased the concerns of tribal operators to launch legal online betting this year.