BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A House committee on Wednesday approved a resolution that would allow North Dakotans to decide whether to allow sports games in the state.
The House of Representatives' Republican-led Judiciary Committee gave the bipartisan resolution a "do-pass" recommendation. It is now going to the whole house for testing.
"The only way to legalize this is to put it through a vote by the people of North Dakota," said West Fargo Republican MP Michael Howe, who sponsored the resolution. "I think the majority of North Dakotans want that."
If approved by both houses, the measure could appear on the November 2022 ballot, Howe said.
A bill setting out rules for gambling operations is passed by the Legislative Committee to the entire House without approval.
The bill was changed to exclude college sports gambling after North Dakota University Systems Chancellor Mark Hagerott told the committee that all presidents of the 11 state colleges and universities had raised concerns but failed to elaborate.
Howe told the committee that "concerns from student athletes who may throw a game are completely unfounded".
"Legalized sports betting will actually make it harder to fix games," Howe said. “Once legalized, sports betting will be monitored and irregular activity will be easily identified. It's easier to fix games in an unsupervised environment where money is flowing under the radar. ”