Plain Talk: Sports betting is already happening in North Dakota, and we can’t stop it, says state lawmaker


MINOT, N.D. — “It’s happening,” Sen. Scott Meyer, a Republican from Grand Forks, said on this episode of Plain Talk. “We’re not stopping it.”

He’s referring to sports gambling, which is one of the topics he says his constituents talk to him about the most. “It’s becoming more and more common. It’s everywhere,” he says.

Meyer is backing House Concurrent Resolution 3002, which, if passed, would put the question of sports gambling to voters on the statewide ballot.

If they approve it, the lawmakers would be authorized to enact enabling legislation dictating regulation, consumer protection, and taxation. At least for professional sports. The constitutional amendment would leave out other types of sports betting on collegiate or even high school competitions, though Meyer insists that sort of thing is already happening too. “There are already betting lines on those games” available from sports betting services based off-shore that can be accessed online.

Meyer says that’s a big part of why this resolution should pass. Because these services are offshore, the North Dakotans who are already using them have no protection from fraud, and there is no way to generate revenue from the bets to offset the social impacts of gambling.

A similar resolution proposed in the 2021 legislative session passed in the state House, but failed, narrowly, in the state Senate. So far, HCR 3002 has followed a similar trajectory, having passed already in the House. Now it’s before the Senate, where Meyer hopes his colleagues will let North Dakota voters have a say.

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