Sports bettors will soon be able to wager at Dakota Magic Casino in Hankinson as the casino, operated by the tribe-owned Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise, plans to open its Dakota Nation Sportsbook. The opening date is expected to be as soon as December 1st, with the latest possible opening in January, pending regulatory approvals.
Ever since the Supreme Court greenlit sports betting, Dakota Magic has been weighing the possibilities of adding a sportsbook to the casino, according to Chief Marketing Officer Rojelio Rubio.
“In North Dakota, sports betting was negotiated prior and approved in the state gaming compact between the tribal nation and the state. It wasn’t until the Supreme Court ruling that Dakota Magic was able to jump at the opportunity to provide sports betting”, Rubio said as reported by Inforum.
The Dakota Nation Sportsbook is set to feature a “Vegas-style” lounge with large televisions, leather seats with cell phone charging stations, a limited menu, drinks and a wall-to-wall video screen. While wagering is set to open shortly on-premise through a clerk or kiosks, the lounge is not expected to open until early next year, in time for the Super Bowl.
Rubio also noted that other modes of wagering “will be discussed at a later time”, adding that any off-site betting would need approval by the state and tribal governments.
In addition to the Hankinson casino, Dakota Nation Sportsbook will be available at Dakota Connection in Sisseton and Dakota Sioux in Watertown. South Dakota’s Commission on Gaming moved to allow sports betting, beginning with casinos in Deadwood in May.
Gamblers will be able to wager on both collegiate and professional sporting events. Odds will be set by International Game Technology PlaySports, Rubio said.
The North Dakota Legislature considered legalizing sports betting during both the 2019 and 2021 sessions, though measures failed to pass both times. House Bill 1234, another sports betting bill proposed this year, also failed to pass.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association opposes sports betting, as do local education leaders. In 2019, North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott said betting on college sporting events could lead to tampering as well as heap pressure on student-athletes. Hagerott, alongside NDSU President Dean Bresciani, again testified against the resolution in 2021.