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November 2, 2022 Sports Betting, Casino, Tribal, Legal

North Dakota tribes won't gain online exclusivity, but Governor Burgum makes positive concessions

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Another state in which tribal exclusivity has been requested is keeping its cards close to its chest.

California might be stealing the headlines when it comes to sports betting legislation and tribal exclusivity, but spare a thought for North Dakota where a similar scenario is playing out to far less fanfare.

North Dakota's Native American tribes had applied for exclusive rights to host online gambling and sports wagering, currently not allowed under state law.

However, Governor Doug Burgum said on Wednesday that this plea has been rejected. A caveat was added in that "language was included in the compacts to allow the tribes to offer such [online] gaming off the reservations if authorized by state and federal law."

Burgum did also endorse the tribes' appeal to lower the legal gambling age from 21 to 19 at the native casinos.

After "months of negotiations" with five tribes, the Governor submitted his final drafts for new compacts, which will either be approved or rejected by the US Department of Interior after 45 days. Should the Department of Interior not respond within that timeframe, the compacts would automatically go into effect.

Governor Burgum explained: “These negotiated compacts address a number of longstanding issues between the state and tribes by cutting through red tape and streamlining regulation of tribal gaming for the benefit of both parties.

“While we understand and appreciate the desire by some of the tribes to extend online gaming beyond their reservation boundaries, a clear legal path does not exist for the governor to grant such a broad expansion of gaming in the compact.

"We plan to work with the legislature to bring all parties to the table and take a comprehensive look at gaming during the upcoming 2023 session, including sports betting, e-tabs and other gaming.”

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