North Dakota Senate Votes Against Removal of Schools from Sports Betting Resolution

According to KX News, an amendment created by Sen. Larry Luick to remove universities, colleges, and high schools from House Concurrent Resolution 3002 failed by one vote of 24 to 23 earlier this week.

This means that the text of the resolution as it was originally presented will be subject to voting by the Senate. The purpose of the resolution is to place a constitutional measure that would give the green light to professional sports betting in North Dakota on the ballot in November 2024.

Changes in the Text of the Resolution

The amendment created by the Senate Judiciary on Wednesday would have changed the wording used by the legislative assembly from “shall” in regard to the authorization of sports betting to “may.”

The same amendment would have also added the phrase “to be conducted on professional sports” to the text. This would have helped guarantee that sports betting would not be allowed on the grounds of educational institutions.

Sen. Larry Luick, R-Dis. 25, Fairmount spoke about the “serious problems with mental health issues” recorded among athletes in universities, colleges, and high schools. He put the emphasis on matters like anxiety, depression, and mental exhaustion, describing them as “increasing intensively.”

The Senator also spoke about the way in which allowing gambling in schools would be a sure path to generating financial issues for students living on campuses where sports betting would be allowed.

Gambling on Certain Players Would Influence Players

Sen. Luick also took the opportunity to address the matter of players that might be influenced by social media to perform in a certain way on the field, depending on the bets placed on them.

Referencing prop bets which are side bets on sporting events that might negatively influence athletes in North Dakota, Sen. Luick gave the example of people harassing athletes and their families to generate a certain result for an upcoming match.

Sen. Scott Meyer, R-Dis. 18, Grand Forks spoke about the lack of a clear reference regarding high school or collegiate athletics in Resolution 3002, explaining how important it is to keep the constitution clean.

House Concurrent Resolution 3002 was sent for hearing to the House Judiciary Committee by Greg Stemen at the start of the year. In North Dakota, the Senate represents the upper house of the Legislative Assembly and it is smaller than the House of Representatives.

Ultimately, residents in North Dakota will have the final say on whether to allow sports betting outside of tribal casinos to become legal in their state or deny it.