gambling | Prairie Public Broadcasting


Lutheran Social Services

While most North Dakotans who gamble do so on occasion, about three percent are “compulsive gamblers” – who instead of spending money for food and clothing, place bets.

A program from Lutheran Social Services is designed to reach those who are looking for help. It’s called “Gambler’s Choice” – and it’s on-line.

"It's a 12-step treatment program on-line," said Lisa Vig of LSS. "It is an excellent opportunity for someone in a rural or remote area, who doesn't have access to a counselor or a support group, who may have concerns about stigma or confidentiality."

Two bills have been introduced into the 2019 North Dakota Legislative Session to legalize sports betting.

This follows a US Supreme Court ruling in a New Jersey case, which has allowed every state to offer sports betting.

Rep. Jason Dockter (R-Bismarck) said under his bill, charities would be allowed to run the wagering. He said the charities would likely work with a third-party vendor to set up kiosks and phone apps.

"People are already doing it on-line," Dockter said. "Let's just be honest."

ND Legislature

Supporters call it a game of skill. Opponents say it’s nothing more than a slot machine.

And the House narrowly agreed with the latter view – defeating a bill that would have allowed betting on “historic horse races.”

Under the bill, you could bet on a previously run horse race. The races would be available through electronic devices. And those devices would only show the last moments of those races.  The bill would have allowed those machines in up to 10 locations across North Dakota, and those places would have to have authorized off-track betting.

Proposal would get the state into the casino business

Mar 13, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A House committee is studying a Constitutional measure to allow up to six state owned casinos to be built in rural North Dakota.

House Majority Leader Al Carlson (R-Fargo) authored the measure. He said the casinos would be built to be “destination locations.” They would be 5 miles or more from cities of 5000 people or larger, and they would be at least 20 miles from the reservations, which have their own casinos.  It would be put on the statewide ballot in 2018.

Carlson told the House Judiciary Committee the "face of North Dakota has changed."

Gambling addiction growing in ND, nationally

Jul 21, 2014

Gambling addiction is a growing problem in North Dakota – and nation-wide.

As Prairie Public’s Dave Thompson reports, agencies that treat problem gamblers are hoping more of them seek help.

“We know that nationally, approximately 2 to 3 percent of people struggle with problem gambling,” said Pam Sagness, the Substance Abuse lead for the state Department of Human Services. “And so, if you put that in context for the state of North Dakota, it would mean that we’re looking at approximately 14 to 21,000 people that may be suffering from problem gambling.”

ND Lottery is 10 years old

Mar 24, 2014
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The North Dakota Lottery is ten years old.

And it’s getting a little bit of a facelift.

Since it began, North Dakota lotto players have spent over $215 million on Powerball, Mega-Millions, Hot Lotto and Wild Card Two. They’ve won more than $79 million in prizes – but haven’t hit “the big one.” The North Dakota Attorney General’s office administers the lottery – and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says the kinds of people who are winning the money are the kinds you want.