House leader proposes North Dakota owned casinos

The official is pushing a proposal to allow six state-owned casinos.

US.- Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, presented a proposal that would allow the construction of six casinos owned by North Dakota. The official believes that the proposal would establish casinos as destination-oriented attractions.

Carlson also stated that the profits from the six casinos would lessen or eliminate state sales tax and corporate income tax completely. “It is not intended to make money for the state,” he added. It is expected that the bill would pass the chamber smoothly, since Carlson is the House leader, but its future in the Senate is still uncertain. The next few steps for the bill consist of being approved by a delayed bills committee, and if it passes it would be scheduled for hearings later.

If it makes it through the House and the Senate, the Legislature has the call to decide if the bill goes under a statewide vote or not. If it gets approved, it could be under the decision of the voters in the June 2018 primary. The proposal establishes that the casinos cannot be built within 20 miles of a reservation, or within 5 of a city with more than 5000 residents.

Furthermore, the site selected to begin construction has to be a state-owned land. Whilst the gambling facilities would be regulated by a state-appointed commission, the amendment establishes that the Legislature can’t fund the casinos with state money.