Gov. Burgum agrees to lower gambling age at North Dakota tribal sites

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has signed agreements with the state’s native tribes to lower the legal gambling age from 21 to 19.  

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The law will come into place at tribal-owned casinos in the state and will allow gamblers on reservations to use credit or debit cards to place bets.  

This new compact will also allow players to access online sports betting using mobile devices, as long as they are within reservation boundaries.  

On the latest compact update, Burgum said: “We are deeply grateful to the tribal chairs and their representatives for their collaboration throughout these many months of negotiations, and we look forward to continuing the mutually beneficial gaming partnership between the state and the sovereign tribal nations with whom we share geography.” 

The new compact replaces those that were set to expire at the end of the year and will be in place for 10 years. 

Recently, Burgum rejected a plea from the state’s five tribes to give them exclusive rights to host internet gambling and sports betting outside the bounds of the reservation – as it contravenes state law.  

North Dakota’s tribes wanted this right, claiming their income had been hurt by a boom of Las Vegas-style pull tab machines, legalised in the state in 2017.  

These machines are designed to help charities and have generated $1.75bn so far in 2022 – out of North Dakota alone. 

Burgum previously said of the tribes’ attempts to legalise online sports betting: “These negotiated compacts address several longstanding issues between the state and tribes by cutting through red tape and streamlining regulation of tribal gaming for the benefit of both parties.  

“While we understand and appreciate the desire by some of the tribes to extend online gaming beyond their reservation boundaries, a clear legal path does not exist for the governor to grant such a broad expansion of gaming in the compact.” 

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