North Dakota discusses state-owned casinos

The proposal is set to be discussed in a hearing today.

US.- The proposal introduced last week by Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, will get its first hearing today. Even if the official is confident that the bill will pass the chamber smoothly, there are groups against the measure who are teaming up to fight the proposal.

According to Carlson, the proposal is set to lessen or eliminate state sales taxes and corporate income taxes completely. The Daily Progress reported that state lawmakers believe that the plan could deepen the anger American Indian tribes have against the government since the Dakota pipeline dispute that started a few months ago. Even if the proposal doesn’t need the approval of the governor, Doug Burgum said that he’s not okay with the idea.

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.

Meanwhile, there are group teaming up against the proposal as they believe that state owned casinos could overshadow the profits that charities get from gaming. Jonathan Jorgensen, president of the board of directors for the Charitable Gaming Association of North Dakota said that “It could affect services for tens of thousands of people,” the Bismarck Tribune reported. The association that represents approximately 350 organisations held a meeting last week where they decided to oppose the measure. According to CEO Don Santer, his organisation would lose 25 percent of its gaming funds if the state-owned casinos get approved. “We’re scrambling to get up to speed on what’s going on with this,” he said.