North Dakota’s House Judiciary Committee endorsed House Bill 1234 that, if passed, would allow North Dakotans to vote on the legalization of sports betting during the 2022 election season.
The committee gave the legislation a ‘do pass’ recommendation and now the bill will go to the House floor for a full vote.
The bill which was sponsored by Rep. Jim Kasper, has been heavily amended since it was first introduced in January. It had originally sought to legalize sports betting on both professional and college events, but after local colleges and universities voiced concerns, college sports betting has been removed.
In his testimony before the committee, Rep. Kasper stated:
“The people of North Dakota are already sports betting. They find ways to do it. I’m saying we legalize it in our state, and we tax it so that we have the benefit of what’s already happening for the citizens of our state and our state coffers.”
While the bill currently lacks any details on tax rates or where those taxes will go, the committee agreed with Rep. Kasper’s sentiment. However, these details will be added to the bill prior to the House vote.
If the House passes the bill, it will then go to the Senate before finally coming to Gov. Doug Burgum. While Burgum is unwilling to throw his weight behind the bill, it’s believed that he will not stand in its way.
If either the House or the Senate vote against the bill, it still has one more chance as it will then go before the electorate on the ballot for the 2022 election season.
Image credit: Formulanone / CC BY-SA 2.0