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North Dakota, Native American Tribes Sign Compact Involving Sports Betting

New Deals Go To U.S. Department of the Interior


Gov. Doug BurgumNorth Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, and the chairpersons of the five tribal nations with whom North Dakota shares geography have announced the completion of a new gambling deal.

The state and the tribes unveiled the signing of new tribal-state gaming compacts, which now go to the U.S. Department of the Interior for final approval. Tribal gambling is regulated by the federal government, while states control commercial casino gambling.

The current tribal gaming compacts in North Dakota are set to expire early next year, requiring the governor and tribes to negotiate new gaming compacts. The Department of the Interior has 45 days to approve or reject the signed compacts. If the Department of the Interior takes no action within those 45 days, the compacts automatically go into effect.

“We are deeply grateful to the tribal chairs and their representatives for their collaboration throughout these many months of negotiations, and we look forward to continuing the mutually beneficial gaming partnership between the state and the sovereign tribal nations with whom we share geography,” Burgum said.

Changes to the compacts include eliminating duplication of regulation, cleaning up several other regulatory and definition issues, and allowing online Class III casino-style gaming and online sports betting, including mobile gaming, within the physical boundaries of the reservations.

Sports betting is legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia. According to the American Gaming Association, Americans are expected to wager around $100 billion this year legally.

According to the AGA, Americans wager roughly $63.8 billion each year on sports through unregulated channels, including local bookies.

North Dakota is home to over 11 tribal casinos that generate around $250 million each year in gambling win, also according to the AGA. There are no commercial casinos.