The gambling outlook in North Dakota

In the heartland of America, North Dakota stands as a testament to the evolving landscape of gambling. Nestled between vast prairies and the rugged Badlands, this state, often associated with its agricultural prowess and natural beauty, has rolled the dice and come up with its diverse gambling scene. While many states grapple with the intricacies of gambling regulations, North Dakota has carved out its niche, balancing both tradition and innovation.

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📖 Published on: June 15th, 2023

✍️ Updated: 3 months ago

⏳ 21 mins read

North Dakota image
North Dakota coat of arms image

The Peace Garden State, known for its vast landscapes, is also a haven for gamblers looking for a piece of the action. From the bustling floors of tribal casinos to the quiet concentration of off-track betting parlors, North Dakota offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern gaming excitement. As the winds of change continue to blow, North Dakota remains poised at the forefront, ready to adapt and thrive in the ever-changing world of gambling.

North Dakota gambling laws and regulations

When it comes to laying down the law, North Dakota doesn't just play its cards close to the chest; it deals a hand that's both fair and transparent. The state's regulations are clear-cut, ensuring that gamblers, both seasoned and novices, know the score. With a regulatory framework that's as tight as a drum, North Dakota ensures that the house doesn't always win, and players get a fair shake. But it's not just about rules and restrictions. The state has masterfully woven a tapestry of regulations that respect the rich traditions of Native American tribes while embracing the innovations of modern gaming. This delicate balance ensures that while the stakes are high, the spirit of fair play is never compromised. In the grand casino of American gambling regulations, North Dakota confidently places its chips on integrity, clarity, and the promise of a good game.


What is considered as legal gambling

In North Dakota, the line between a fun wager and a legal misstep is crystal clear. The state has meticulously crafted its regulations to ensure that residents and visitors alike can indulge in their gambling passions without overstepping the bounds of the law. From the echoing cheers in tribal casinos to the silent anticipation at horse racing tracks, North Dakota has a rich tapestry of legal gambling avenues. The state recognizes the cultural significance of Native American reservations and has given them the green light to operate casinos, ensuring a blend of tradition and modern gaming. Additionally, the thrill of horse races isn't just confined to the tracks; off-track betting brings the excitement to the masses. And let's not forget charitable games like bingo and raffles, which not only entertain but also contribute to good causes. In essence, North Dakota's legal gambling scene is diverse, vibrant, and above all, transparent.


What is considered as illegal gambling

While North Dakota offers a smorgasbord of legal gambling delights, there are certain games and practices that remain firmly off the table. The state doesn't turn a blind eye to deceptive tactics or underhanded maneuvers in the gambling arena. Using marked cards, bogus chips, or any form of cheating devices will quickly land one in a world of trouble. It's not just about the tools of the trade; any gambling establishments operating outside the purview of state regulations or without the necessary licenses are considered illegal. Moreover, while the digital age beckons with online gambling opportunities, diving into unregulated online waters in North Dakota is akin to playing with fire. The state's stance is clear: while it embraces the thrill of the gamble, it has zero tolerance for those looking to bend or break the rules, ensuring a level playing field for all.


Legal age to gamble in North Dakota

Age, as they say, is more than just a number, especially when it comes to gambling in North Dakota. The state has set clear age thresholds to ensure that the excitement of gambling is paired with the maturity to handle it responsibly. If the bright lights of the casino floor beckon, you'll need to have celebrated your 21st birthday to join the action. This age limit ensures that those partaking in the more intense forms of gambling have the wisdom and experience to navigate its challenges. On the other hand, for the younger crowd eager to dip their toes into the world of gambling, the age of 18 opens doors to the state lottery and charitable gaming events. This tiered approach reflects North Dakota's commitment to responsible gambling, ensuring that while the games are accessible, they're enjoyed by those best equipped to understand their nuances.

Real money casinos in North Dakota

In the vast expanse of North Dakota, where the horizon stretches endlessly and the skies paint a canvas of colors, there's another kind of allure that beckons—the shimmering allure of real money casinos. These establishments are not just about the clink of coins or the shuffle of cards; they represent a fusion of tradition, thrill, and the promise of fortune. While the state is steeped in history and natural beauty, its casino scene is a vibrant juxtaposition of the old and the new.

From the grandeur of tribal casinos that echo the rich heritage of Native American tribes to the modern gaming facilities equipped with the latest technology, North Dakota offers a gambling experience that's both diverse and dynamic. Whether you're a high roller or a casual player, the state's casinos promise an experience that's as unforgettable as a Dakota sunset.

North dakota casino girl


Online casinos

In the digital age, where everything from shopping to chatting has gone online, it's no surprise that the casino scene is itching to join the party. Picture this: lounging on your favorite couch in North Dakota, sipping on a cold brew, and diving into a game of blackjack or spinning the roulette, all with just a click. Tempting, right? But here's the kicker: while the rest of the world might be all-in on this digital gamble, North Dakota is playing it coy. The state's stance on online casinos is a bit like a poker face—hard to read. There's no clear green or red light, leaving gamblers in a bit of a limbo. So, while the convenience of online casinos is as alluring as a Vegas neon sign, it's wise to tread carefully. After all, in the game of online gambling, it's always best to play your cards right.


Land-based casinos

Imagine cruising down a North Dakota highway, the radio playing classic rock, and the horizon teasing you with the promise of adventure. Then, like a mirage in the desert, a land-based casino rises, beckoning with neon lights and the unmistakable buzz of excitement. It's not just a place; it's an experience. Walking into one of these joints is like stepping into a scene from a classic American movie. The air's thick with anticipation, the sound of slot machines is like a siren song, and every face tells a story. Maybe it's the old-timer at the blackjack table, with tales as tall as the Dakota skies, or the hopeful newbie clutching a handful of chips. In a world that's racing online, these brick-and-mortar havens remind us of the raw, unfiltered thrill of the gamble. In North Dakota, they're not just casinos; they're a slice of Americana, where dreams are just a dice throw away.


Tribal casinos

Picture this: the vast, open landscapes of North Dakota, where the echoes of ancient chants blend seamlessly with the modern hum of slot machines. Tribal casinos in the state aren't just places to play; they're sacred grounds where history, culture, and gaming intertwine. Stepping into one is like taking a journey through time, where the proud legacy of Native American tribes meets the contemporary thrill of the gamble. It's where the spirit of the ancestors watches over every dice roll and card flip. These casinos tell tales – of traditions preserved, of communities uplifted, of fortunes won and lost. Amidst the neon lights and poker tables, you can almost hear the whispers of old stories, passed down through generations. In the heart of America, these tribal casinos are more than just gaming hubs; they're a testament to resilience, heritage, and the timeless allure of a well-played game.


Shipboard and floating casinos

Now, imagine drifting on the waters, with the gentle sway of a boat beneath you and the vast expanse of the sky above. The rhythmic lapping of waves is punctuated by the chime of slot machines and the murmur of card games in progress. Shipboard and floating casinos, while not the mainstay in landlocked North Dakota, evoke a sense of adventure that's straight out of a Mark Twain novel. It's the romance of the Mississippi River combined with the thrill of Vegas. The deck becomes a dance floor, the moonlight your spotlight, and every game is played with the added excitement of being on the move. While these floating paradises might be more dream than reality in North Dakota, the very idea stirs the soul. It's the allure of the unknown, the promise of a journey, and the age-old thrill of gambling, all set against the backdrop of America's majestic waterways.



Hold onto your hats, folks, because when you're talking about racinos, you're diving into a world where the thunder of hooves meets the electrifying jingle of jackpot wins. Imagine the raw adrenaline of a horse race, where every gallop and surge sends hearts racing, and then blend that with the glitzy allure of a casino floor. That's the magic of racinos. It's where old-school Americana, with its love for the tracks, dances cheek-to-cheek with the modern-day thrill of slots and card games. In the grand tapestry of American gambling, racinos are like that jazzed-up fusion track that gets everyone tapping their feet. While North Dakota might still be warming up to this high-octane blend, the very concept of racinos captures the essence of the American spirit: always evolving, always innovating, and always up for a darn good time.

North Dakota racinos


Off-track betting

Picture a scene straight out of a classic American diner: neon lights, checkered floors, and folks huddled around, not for the jukebox, but for the thrill of a distant race. Welcome to the world of off-track betting in North Dakota. It's where the raw excitement of the racetrack comes to you, no matter where you are. You don't need the dust of the track on your boots or the roar of the crowd in your ears. All you need is a ticket and a dream. It's a slice of Americana where the underdog can win big, and every race tells a story of hope, grit, and a bit of luck. In the heart of the Midwest, off-track betting is more than just a pastime; it's a testament to the enduring American spirit of taking a chance and riding it till the finish line.

Nearest land based casinos

We've compiled a list of the most trusted land-based casinos if you're searching for "North Dakota casinos near me":

Dakota Magic Casino Resort
Dakota Magic Casino Resort is the place to be for some fun in Hankinson, North Dakota. The 24,000 square feet casino offers Slots, Video Poker, Video Keno, Blackjack, Craps, as well as a Sports Book. Guests can also enjoy 4 restaurants and bars serving up delicious drinks, including liquor! Accommodation options include 111 rooms with a price range of $79-$129, as well as 8 luxurious suites at $150-$240. For seniors, there's a special 10% off rooms, plus various other discounts when you present proof of age. RV parking is free, but RV dump is at a fee. Valet parking is not available. Come have a great time at Dakota Magic Casino Resort!
16849 102nd Street SE, Hankinson, ND 58041
Phone Number:
(701) 634-3000
Four Bears Casino & Lodge
Four Bears Casino and Lodge is a popular destination in New Town, North Dakota, boasting 190 rooms with price ranges from $109-129, 30 suites with prices from $149-179, and 84-space RV Park with a $25 nightly rate. Not to mention their delicious selection of 3 restaurants! Guests have their pick of gaming options, including slots, video poker, video keno, blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, Texas Hold'Em, and even sports betting! There's also a 1,000-seat event center, as well as a nearby marina and lakeside cabins. Guests 55 and over may receive certain discounts. Whether for a quiet weekend away or a night of gaming fun, Four Bears Casino and Lodge is a great option!
202 Frontage Rd, New Town, ND 58763
Phone Number:
(701) 627-4018
Sky Dancer Hotel & Casino
Sky Dancer Hotel and Casino is a casino in Belcourt, North Dakota that offers an extensive variety of gaming options for all kinds of players. With 25,000 square feet of gaming space, there is something for everyone. Guests can enjoy slots, video poker, blackjack, poker, let it ride, four card poker, and sports book in addition to off-track betting for Wednesdays through Sundays. The hotel includes 70 rooms ranging from $65-145 and 27 suites from $125-175. Restaurant options are available along with a gift shop. Additionally, Liquor is served and Overnight RV Parking and RV Dump are available free of charge. Sky Dancer Hotel and Casino provides a one-stop destination for a variety of gaming options in Belcourt, ND.
3965 Sky Dancer Way, Belcourt, ND 58316
Phone Number:
(866) 676-0048
Prairie Knights Casino & Resort
Prairie Knights Casino and Resort is a premier destination for North Dakotans and beyond looking for a full-fledged casino and resort experience. Located in Fort Yates, this 42,000-square-foot casino complex is the ideal place for slots, video poker, video keno, video roulette, blackjack and more. The resort offers 188 rooms ranging from $100-$149, with 12 suites ranging up to $199, and a 16-spot RV park ($30). The Prairie Knights Marina offers a free RV dump and special discounts for players club members. Guests can also enjoy one of three restaurants, full bar and a convenience store, providing everything needed for an unforgettable stay.
7932 Highway 24, Fort Yates, ND 58538
Phone Number:
(701) 854-7777
Spirit Lake Casino & Resort
Spirit Lake Casino and Resort, in St. Michael, North Dakota, is the perfect destination for gambling and entertainment. This resort offers 108 rooms in a range of prices from $120-$180 and 16 suites costing $150-$240. Enjoy three restaurants and a liquor bar, along with a free valet parking. Hit the 45,000 square feet casino with a wide selection of games such as Slots, Video Poker, Video Keno, Blackjack, Poker, Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold'Em, and Let It Ride. The casino also includes a 73-space RV park with rates from $30-$35, a gift shop and discount smoke shop, as well as a discounted room rate for players club members. No need to worry about where to park your RV for the night, Spirit Lake Casino's 32-slip marina is ready to welcome you. Senior citizens will enjoy a range of discounts if they are 55+. Come and experience it!
7889 Highway 57 South, St. Michael, ND 58370
Phone Number:
(701) 766-4747
Grand Treasure Casino
Grand Treasure Casino is a lively gaming hotspot in Trenton, North Dakota. With 5,000 sq feet of floor space, locals can enjoy a range of slots, plus take advantage of various Monday discounts for seniors 55 and over. And don't miss out on the fun - this casino also offers a full liquor selection. Whether you're a local looking for a great weekend night out or just passing through, Grand Treasure Casino is your perfect destination for gaming and entertainment.
4418 147th Ave NW, Trenton, ND 58853
Phone Number:
(701) 572-2690
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Sports betting

Step into any barbershop or diner in North Dakota, and you'll feel it – the electric buzz of sports betting. It's as American as apple pie and the Fourth of July. Here, where the winters are long and the passions run deep, sports aren't just games; they're a way of life. And what's more American than backing your favorite team with a little wager? It's the thrill of the chase, the nail-biting finishes, and the sweet taste of victory when your team – and your bet – comes through. In December 2021, North Dakota threw its hat into the ring, legalizing sports betting and adding another chapter to its rich gambling story. Now, whether you're rooting for the home team or backing an underdog, every play, every point, and every game holds the promise of not just glory, but a little green to line your pockets.

Social casinos

In the age of smartphones and social media, where friendships can span continents and virtual hangouts are the new norm, enter the world of social casinos. It's where the camaraderie of a Friday night poker game meets the digital age. Think of it as the neighborhood casino going online, where folks aren't just playing for the jackpot but for the sheer joy of connecting, competing, and celebrating together. In places like North Dakota, where the sense of community runs deep, social casinos aren't just about the chips and slots; they're about sharing a laugh, a high-five, or even a commiserating sigh over a lost hand. It's the modern-day campfire where stories are shared, legends are born, and everyone's just a click away from joining the party. In the grand tapestry of American gaming, social casinos are the vibrant new thread, weaving together tradition, technology, and good old-fashioned fun.

Daily fantasy sports

Ah, the great American dream: assembling a team of underdogs, rising stars, and seasoned veterans, and watching them outplay, outscore, and outshine the competition. Enter the realm of daily fantasy sports, where every fan becomes a manager, every game day is draft day, and every play can make or break your fantasy season. In places like North Dakota, where the spirit of competition is as fierce as the winter chill, daily fantasy sports aren't just games; they're battlegrounds. It's where armchair quarterbacks and living room coaches pit their wits against each other, all for the glory of that top spot on the leaderboard. And let's be real, it's not just about the bragging rights; it's about proving your mettle, showing you've got the chops to pick the winners, and living the American sports dream, one fantasy matchup at a time.


Ah, Bingo! It's not just a game; it's an American institution. Picture a bustling community hall in North Dakota, where folks from all walks of life gather, daubers in hand, waiting for that next number call. The air is thick with anticipation, and every "B-7" or "N-42" can spark a chorus of groans or the triumphant shout of "Bingo!" It's where Grandma Mabel can be the queen of the night, and young Johnny learns the thrill of the chase. But it's more than just cards and numbers; it's about community, camaraderie, and the shared joy of a game well played. In the vast tapestry of American pastimes, Bingo holds a special place. It's a game that bridges generations, where tales are spun, friendships are forged, and every night holds the promise of that perfect line or a full house. In North Dakota, Bingo isn't just played; it's celebrated.


In the heart of America, where tales of cowboys and frontier life still echo, poker stands as a testament to the nation's love for strategy, bluff, and a bit of old-fashioned luck. Dive into any North Dakota saloon—or modern-day poker room—and you'll find a microcosm of America itself. It's the flick of the cards, the unreadable poker faces, the tension you could cut with a knife. Every hand is a story, every bluff a dance, and every all-in a leap of faith. It's not just about the chips or the pot; it's the thrill of the game, the camaraderie around the table, and the age-old quest to prove oneself. In the vast landscapes of North Dakota, poker is more than a game; it's a rite of passage, a nod to the past, and a challenge for the next great American card shark.

Gambling tips

Stepping into the world of gambling is like diving headfirst into the great American road trip: exhilarating, unpredictable, and filled with twists and turns. And just like you wouldn't hit Route 66 without a map, you shouldn't gamble without a few tricks up your sleeve. First off, always know your limits. Just as you wouldn't bet the farm, don't wager what you can't afford to lose. Remember, the house always has an edge, but a smart player knows when to push and when to fold. Listen to the old-timers, those seasoned gamblers with tales as tall as North Dakota's skies. They've been around the block and have the scars to prove it. And lastly, always, always gamble with your head, not over it. Because gambling should be about the thrill of the game, not the pain of the loss.

The history

Ah, the rich tapestry of American gambling! Dive back in time, and you'll find tales as wild as the West itself. From the smoky saloons where cowboys tested their luck to the roaring '20s speakeasies where dice rolled as freely as the jazz, gambling has been as much a part of America's story as apple pie and baseball. Think of the gold rush towns, where fortune seekers not only panned for gold but also played high-stakes poker under dimly lit lanterns. Fast forward to the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas, the Mecca of modern-day gambling. Every era, every decade has its tales of big wins, heartbreaking losses, and legendary gamblers. It's a history that reflects America's spirit of adventure, its love for a good challenge, and its eternal hope that the next roll, the next bet, might just be the jackpot.


The future

Gaze into the horizon, and what do you see? The future of American gambling is as vast and promising as the open plains. As technology races forward, we're on the brink of a new era where virtual reality might just be the next poker table and cryptocurrencies the chips of choice. But it's not just about the tech; it's about the spirit. A spirit that's always pushing boundaries, always seeking the next thrill. Imagine casinos that aren't just places, but experiences, where augmented reality transforms your surroundings, and every game is an adventure. And as regulations evolve, new doors will open, bringing fresh challenges and opportunities. But one thing's for sure: the heart of gambling, that quintessential American blend of risk, reward, and resilience, will remain unchanged. So, here's to the future – uncharted, unpredictable, but always, always exciting.

Responsible gaming in North Dakota

In the heart of the Midwest, where values run deep and community ties are strong, North Dakota stands as a beacon for responsible gaming. It's not just about the thrill of the bet or the allure of the jackpot; it's about playing smart and playing right. Think of it as the cowboy code of the gambling world: ride hard, but always ride with honor. The state champions the idea that gambling should be a pastime, not a problem. It's about setting limits, knowing when to walk away, and always keeping a level head. Community programs and support networks ensure that those who need a helping hand find one. Because in North Dakota, gambling isn't just a game; it's a responsibility. And in this great American state, they make sure that while the stakes might be high, the values and integrity remain higher.


What is the legality of online gambling in North Dakota?

Well, when it comes to online gambling in North Dakota, it's a bit like the Wild West. There's no straight-up law saying 'no,' but there's also no green light giving it the go-ahead. So, it's kind of in a gray area right now.

How does North Dakota regulate online gambling sites?

Here's the deal: North Dakota hasn't quite put its cards on the table when it comes to online gambling regulations. As of now, there's no set playbook for how online casinos should operate in the state.

Can I use a VPN to gamble online from North Dakota?

Using a VPN might feel like a backdoor into the online gambling world, but tread carefully. Even with a VPN, the waters of online gambling in North Dakota are murky, and you'd be diving in at your own risk.

Are there any legal online casinos in North Dakota?

As of now, North Dakota hasn't rolled out the red carpet for online casinos. So, while you won't find any homegrown online casinos with the state's seal of approval, always play it safe and stay informed.

Katarina Oakshore
Editor | Casinos and Gambling