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North Dakota Gambling Laws

A combination of federal and state laws govern gambling, ranging from prohibition of certain activities to the regulation of full-service casinos. Just a small minority of states ban all or nearly all types of gambling from its borders, but most states allow some form of gambling as a way to boost state revenue.

Nearly all states allow some limited forms of gambling for charitable purposes, such as bingo games in a church basement. Many states have casinos on Indian reservations in accordance with federal law, regulated by the National Indian Gaming Commission, even in states where non-Indian commercial casinos are not allowed. State lotteries also are a form of gambling, but are governed under separate laws and operated by the state.

North Dakota Gambling Laws: An Overview

North Dakota allows wagering on both horse and dog racing events, but restricts the operation of casinos to Native American reservations (in accordance with federal law). But the state does allow other types of gambling as well, including tests of skill, pull tab games, and sports pools operated by charitable organizations.

Additional provisions of North Dakota's gambling laws are listed in the following table.

Code Section 12.1-28-01 et seq.; 53.06.1-01 et seq.
Gambling Risking something of value for gain, contingent, wholly or partially, upon lot, chance, operation of gambling apparatus, or happening or outcome of an event, including elections or sporting events, over which person taking risk has no control.
Horse Racing/Off-Track Betting Licensed horse racing; race simulcasts; parimutuel wagering, including place, show, quinella, and combination is legal.
Dog Racing/Off-Track Betting Licensed dog racing; race simulcasts; parimutuel wagering, including place, show, quinella and combination.
Casinos Allowed? Only permitted on Native American reservations, in accordance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act
Other Kinds of Gambling-Related Activities Allowed or Banned Lawful contests of skill, speed, strength or endurance; lawful business transactions; bingo, twenty-one, pull tabs, poker, calcutta, paddlewheels, punchboards, sports pools and raffles sponsored by licensed charitable organizations legal. Bogus chips; marked cards; cheating devices; fraudulent schemes, illegal.

Note: State laws are subject to change at any time through the decisions of higher courts, the enactment of new legislation, and other means. You may want to contact a North Dakota gaming attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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