North Dakota Off-Track Betting Casinos
When casino gambling opened for the first time in North Dakota in 1969, the Native Americans saw the opportunity as an economic godsend. Gambling, they believed, could solve many Native American problems including alcoholism and drug addiction. They even formed the North Dakota Indians Poker Club, modeled after the Las Vegas sports book, and began to play for money at the newly constructed facilities. They immediately found themselves in hot water when the state government revoked their operating licenses the next day.
The first major setback came when a tribe with members numbering in the tens of thousands suddenly lost most of its members. Tribes were devastated when one year of CO VID-19 festivities turned into a month-long calamity, when one month of bad weather resulted in millions of dollars of property losses, and when the virus that swept across the state continued to rage. Several tribes were completely wiped out, with nothing but their sacred ceremonial drums and stone houses standing. Resisters called for a boycott of the state, and President Nixon showed his hand by adding North Dakota into the presidential agenda. The snowballing disaster became known as the “Asian Summer”, and casinos in North Dakota, prompted by political pressure, immediately closed their doors.
Now, with the advent of internet gambling in the 90s, the once sleepy North Dakota economy has boomed. Gaming companies, including the now bankrupt WMS Casino Hotel and Casino, have brought hundreds of thousands of North Dakotans into the fold. Hundreds of thousands more have discovered that North Dakota is a North Dakota. Living in harmony with all members of the native American tribes, live in small rural towns and spend their dollars on everything from fishing and horseback riding to live stock, cattle, maple syrup and dairies. Numerous non-Indian gaming companies have entered the North Dakota market and neighboring states, helping to build a second economy for the state. Lake Fargo, always touted as the “Dakota Riviera,” is home to the financially well-heeled, while smaller cities such as North Bend are drawing residents in from surrounding states to experience a new type of North Dakota.
There are several major North Dakota cities that attract a great deal of visitors, especially tourists. Fargo is the second largest city in the state, boasting an affluent history, including being the home to many legendary figures. Native Americans still live in the reservation lands, and many speak French, Creole or Spanish. A popular area for tourists and visitors is the Bitterroots Historic District in south downtown Fargo. The district is comprised of homes to early North Dakota pioneers, including the very first white man to settle in the Bakkan reservation, and is a gateway to many attractions in north Dakota. Besides the well-loved Fargo casinos, the Bitterroot Indian Reservation has a lot of shops, museums and historical sites.
Another way to enjoy North Dakota’s gaming opportunities is through the many non-profit organizations. One of these is the North Dakota Gaming and Raceway Authority, which owns and operates the Bighorn Park Casino. In addition to housing the casino, the authority also runs several other facilities including a state-of-the-art indoor bowling alley and outdoor video games. These facilities are available to the public for a small fee, with proceeds going to benefit the local schools, county programs and the nonprofit organizations in the area.
North Dakota has many unique cultural experiences to offer both visitors to the state and those who wish to indulge in a bit of charitable gambling. The two most popular non-profit organizations in north Dakota are the North Dakota Renaissance Association and the Fargo/LSBA Charitable Gaming Foundation. The NAFA is recognized by the North Dakota State Board of Equalization as an organization that promotes an increase in revenue for vital community needs like health care and business services. The foundation’s mission is to advance the well-being of all residents of the state through education, artistic pursuits and sports. Both of these organizations work closely with local, state and federal government partners to promote the state’s economic development while discouraging wasteful spending.
In addition to its non-profit activities, the Fargo-Moorland-St. Albert Casino Complex is one of the few locations in the state to offer live casino operations, 24 hours a day. This facility offers guests the opportunity to indulge in live gambling, video games and other in-house attractions. During the daytime, visitors can choose from a variety of food choices, shop shopping and other family-friendly attractions. slots machines and pari-mutuel betting are two of the casino offerings that serve as attractions at the casino centers.
North Dakota’s unique cultural and natural resources make it an excellent location for progressive gambling. With more than two hundred locations in five counties, the odds are in favor of winning at the gambling table. However, individuals wishing to indulge in gaming while enjoying North Dakota’s natural beauty should be aware that gaming is not legal in the state without the permission of the North Dakota State Department. Individuals who wish to gamble off-line are also advised to contact the North Dakota Department of Revenue at 866-9001 to discuss tax-related issues. The information contained in this article is designed to be used for reference purposes only.