Business & Finances

Will North Dakota’s Tribes Win the Exclusive Rights of Online Casino Gaming?

The five tribes in North Dakota want to be able to offer online gambling and sports wagering exclusively within their reservations. They’re lobbying for Republican governor Doug Burgum to allow them to do so. The Five Native Tribes are calling for an extension of their exclusive gaming rights, which do not currently cover online casinos.

If approved, the tribes would be granted a monopoly worth hundreds of thousands of dollars just one month later. But what does this mean for the gaming industry, and are the crucial amendments likely to go ahead?

The Native American people have always maintained a strong historical connection with casinos and gambling in the United States. There are more than 460 native-owned gambling operations in the US, with the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act providing tribal sovereignty in certain areas of the country.

The Five Native Tribes of North Dakota are collected into the Choctaw, Cherokee, Seminole, Creek, and Chickasaw nations. This collection of Indigenous Peoples Groups has exclusive rights to in-person sports betting, poker, table gaming, and slots in the state under the Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise (DNGE) umbrella. With the DNGE, the Five Tribes currently have exclusive control of three land-based casinos in North Dakota, which are located within traditional reservation boundaries.

The group has been lobbying Gov. Doug Burgum to make new compact amendments extending the DNGE’s exclusive rights to incorporate online casinos. But what’s the motivation behind the proposed amendments?

What is the Situation of Casino in Neighboring Countries?

To better understand the Five Tribes’ aim to gain exclusive control of the online gaming industry in the state, we can look to neighboring countries like Canada. There, the traditional Mohawk territory of Kahnawake was one of the world’s first jurisdictions to recognize the importance of online gaming.

After passing the 1999 Regulations Concerning Interactive Gaming, Kahnawake became one of the first states to regulate interactive and online casino gaming successfully. Due to that, plenty of excellent online casino platforms are available today. The operators must be licensed and hosted at the Mohegan Internet Technologies centers.

If you’re looking for top Canadian online casinosto enjoy, sorted out the best ones for your consideration. The state of North Dakota could take this Canadian success story as inspiration regarding negotiations between Burgum and the Five Tribes.

Online Casinos in North Dakota

Whether you enjoy spinning the reels of video slot machines or spinning the wheel at the live roulette table, online casinos are the place to be. But why are online casinos and sports betting sites such a pressing issue in North Dakota?

In short, it comes down to finance. The global iGaming industry has grown enormously recently, with the online casino and sports betting sectors surging during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the four years since 2018, the USA generated more than $125 billion from legal sports gambling alone.

In North Dakota casinos, Las Vegas-style electronic pull-tab machines were made legal in 2017, leading to a reported reduction of income for the traditional native-owned land-based casinos in the state. The Tribes are now calling for Doug Burgum to amend their exclusive rights in the gambling sector to cover online casinos.

It is expected to make up for this shortfall and level the playing field regarding gambling revenue in the state.

 What’s the Most Likely Outcome for the Five Tribes?

Although the majority of land-based gaming and sports betting in North Dakota will remain under the jurisdiction of the Five Tribes, it’s unlikely that they will reach their target anytime soon. Governor Burgum rejected their plea because it is not currently permitted under state law.

However, this does not mean that exclusive control of online casino gambling is indefinitely out of the Five Tribes’ reach. While the DNGE has yet to achieve its goals, the state has agreed with some of its requests. This includes reducing the legal gambling age to 19 in the state’s native land-based venues, with operators also permitted to take wagers by credit and debit cards.

While it seems likely that further negotiations will take place in the coming months, a significant change in legislation is required for the Tribes to attain exclusive control. However, these baby steps towards a mutually agreeable resolution can only be a positive sign for gamers and operators in the state of North Dakota.


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