North Dakota rejects casino expansion

The original amendment included six state-owned casinos but Al Carlson later changed them to privately owned and state regulated.

US.- The bill presented by Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, who originally wanted six state owned casinos in North Dakota and then changed them to private facilities, was given an unfavorable review again by the House committee.

The House Judiciary Committee gave the bill a “do not pass” recommendation last week after a 13-2 vote, and after a new voting it received another negative review with a 11-4 vote. Despite the bad result, the committee approved the amendment introduced by Al Carlson that would allow private casinos and the creation of a Casino Gaming Commission to regulate the market. “I believe these proposed amendments make it a better bill regardless of what happens,” said Rep. Andrew Maragos, R-Minot.

Whilst the first bill proposed that the casinos couldn’t be built within 20 miles of a reservation in North Dakota, or within 5 of a city with more than 5000 residents, the new one doesn’t limit private-owned casinos and would allow the construction anywhere in the state. 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.