North Dakota lawmakers haven’t legalized sports betting, but those in the state may still be able to place sports bets sooner rather than later. On Friday, International Gaming Technology announced that it had signed a deal with the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. The tribe has two casinos in North Dakota, and could be the first in the region to offer sports betting.
According to the IGT press release, the deal includes the company’s sports betting platform, self-service kiosks, and trading services. North Dakota lawmakers last entertained legalization of sports betting in 2019, when a policy bill that included limited framework and no tax structure passed the House but not the Senate.
In general, tribal casinos do not need state approval to offer sports betting.
IGT already operating in 14 states
The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians owns two casinos, one each in Trenton and Belcourt. Trenton is near the Montana border and Belcourt is in the north-central part of the state. None of North Dakota’s border states offer statewide mobile sports betting. Montana launched retail sports betting via kiosks at lottery retailers throughout the state in March 2020, and South Dakota voters in November will decide if retail sports betting can be offered in Deadwood.
“IGT is excited to expand our sports betting footprint to North Dakota through this agreement with Turtle Mountain, and we’re happy to continue delivering our superlative PlaySports platform technology and services to casinos and venues of all sizes,” IGT PlayDigital senior vice president Enrico Drago said via press release. “Entering North Dakota is another significant milestone to add to IGT’s growing sports betting pedigree and reinforces our leadership as the principal B2B platform provider in the U.S.”
— Howard Stutz (@howardstutz) September 26, 2020
Since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned by the Supreme Court in May 2018, tribes in Colorado, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon have adopted live retail sports betting. Washington is the first and only state to legalize tribal-only sports betting, and tribes there are aiming to go live with retail sports betting in 2021.
In Colorado, the Sky Ute tribe in June 2020 became the first tribe in the U.S. to offer statewide mobile. Michigan tribes will follow suit either later this year or early next when the Michigan Gaming Control Board formally launches iGaming.
IGT and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians did not address when sports betting could launch. The Grand Treasure (Trenton) casino offers slots, video poker and keno, but no table games, while the Sky Dancer Casino (Belcourt) offers a variety of gaming machines and some table games.