IGT Expands in North Dakota Way Before Sports Betting Regulation

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International Game Technology has appeared on the North Dakota sports betting horizon through its recent association with the Dakota Magic Casino.

As per the deal announced Thursday, the UK-based company will collaborate with the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe, who owns the Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise – a company that operates Dakota Magic Casino and Hotel in Hankinson.

The casino will use the IGT PlaySports platform to power retail sports betting in the Roughrider State.

Dakota Magic Casino and Hotel general manager Wanda Varns said IGT’s proven PlaySports sports wagering solution allows the local operator the opportunity to bring a compelling new element of gaming to its patrons and expands its gaming options to attract more players and sports fans.

In addition to the IGT PlaySports platform, the expansion includes self-service betting kiosks and trading advisory services.

Dakota Magic Casino

IGT PlayDigital Senior Vice President Enrico Drago said the company’s entry into North Dakota through one of the state’s largest tribal casinos represents another opportunity for IGT to expand its sports betting footprint within the state.

“We look forward to bringing our top-class service to Dakota Magic Casino and Hotel… and we’re excited to deploy our leading PlaySports platform, services, and experience to help establish and grow its sports betting program,” Drago said.

Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise’s CFO Weston Quinn said the company is thrilled to partner with IGT and leverage its leading sports betting platform and solutions. He said the IGT’s deep-rooted expertise would help Dakota Magic Casino and Hotel establish a successful sportsbook in the Roughrider State.

What is North Dakota Sports Betting Status?

Earlier this March, North Dakota senators rejected a sports betting measure, which could otherwise have allowed voters to decide in a 2022 ballot whether they wanted to see legalized sports betting in the state.

A month before in February, the state’s House approved the measure that would allow voters to decide if sports betting and online poker should be legalized in the state.

At that time a bill was unsuccessfully proposed that would have authorized the state’s five Indian tribes to renegotiate an agreement with the governor to allow online gambling and sports betting.

North Dakota tribal gambling is regulated under the tribal-state compact which was first signed in 1992.

Anti-gambling attitudes have largely changed in recent years in North Dakota, particularly following the PASPA judgment in May 2018.

Even before that, voters decisively approved a statewide lottery in 2002 after rejecting thrice the same measure during the previous 12 years.

IGT in North Dakota Before Sports Betting

IGT – a global leader in gambling technology – has landed in North Dakota years before legal sports betting. The company sold its operations to Apollo Global Management and also operates the Rhode Island Lottery exclusively.

Meanwhile, North Dakota bettors will have to wait for few more years before legal sports betting comes to the state.

The state law requires a citizen-backed petition to collect verified signatures from at least 4% of documented residents – which is roughly 26,000. If enough signatures are collected, a constitutional amendment will find itself on the agenda during the next session scheduled in 2023.

Since the sports betting measure was narrowly defeated in the state’s senate, it suggests political support for the industry should not be a problem once voters give their verdict on the next ballot.

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