North Dakota: Tribes in State Seek Monopoly Over Online Gambling

North Dakota: Tribes in State Seek Monopoly Over Online Gambling

North Dakota online casino

The North Dakota Indian tribes are attempting to acquire a million-dollar monopoly on online casino and sports betting.

Five North Dakota Indian tribes have wanted exclusive rights to online gaming in the state. 

They say that tribal casino revenues have declined significantly since the implementation of pull-tab machines, but that online gambling might make up the difference.

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Five North Dakota Tribes Are Seeking a Monopoly on Online Gambling

According to the Associated Press, the five North Dakota Indian tribes have demanded that governor Doug Burgum allow them exclusive rights over all online gambling in the state under the compacts or agreements they have with the state government. 

A year has passed since the Senate rejected a bill that would have allowed North Dakota citizens to determine whether or not to authorize sports betting.

DraftKings, an online sports betting giant that planned to expand in North Dakota, advocated for the passage of this bill. The sports betting operator’s primary justification for the establishment of sports betting was that more than $355 million is wagered by 138,000 state citizens with illegal offshore betting operators.

The five North Dakota tribes’ primary argument in their present campaign is that the legalization of electronic pull-tab gaming has severely harmed their casino profits. Governor Burgum legalized the machines in 2017, and since then, their income has increased to $1.75 billion in the fiscal year of 2022.

The Tribe’s Proposal Comes in Turbulent Times

Governor Burgum has refused to comment while negotiations are ongoing. However, the tribes’ request follows numerous disagreements. First, there were protests over a pipeline that passed beneath the Missouri River. 

The tribes relied on the river for drinking water and were concerned about pollution. Then, in 2017, the governor of North Dakota, Doug Burgum, authorized the licensing of electronic pull tab machines, which diverted gamblers away from tribal casinos, which generate much-needed money for tribal communities.

Cynthia Monteau, executive director of the United Tribes Gaming Association, stated that granting the tribes exclusive rights to online gambling will compensate for the losses caused by pull-tab games and enhance the state’s relationship with the tribes.

However, there may be an additional barrier to tribal monopoly. As per the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the tribes claim they have the right to offer online sports betting and other games of chance throughout the entire state of North Dakota while maintaining the necessary servers on tribal land. 

In a similar case in Florida, a judge invalidated the agreement between the tribes and the state on the grounds that players must be physically present on tribal territories in order to place bets.

Governor Burgum has acknowledged that he is familiar with the Florida legal matter, while North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley has provided the governor with legal counsel.

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About Lou De Aguila

Lou Aguila is a contributor to Golden Casino News. For over a decade, Lou has published news and featured articles for some of the most reputable sports betting and online casino sites in the world, including BetNow.UK, VegasOdds, and BWin. Apart from being a hardcore live casino punter, he also covers sports stories in North American leagues from time to time.