North Dakota Casino Plan Shot Down by House Lawmakers

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Just a short time ago, House Majority Leader Al Carlson introduced a resolution in North Dakota that would have opened the door for casino gaming to take place off reservation lands. The resolution did not seem to garner the support it needed and was recently shot down during a vote within the House last week.

House Concurrent Resolution 3033 was introduced as a way to allow state-owned casinos to be constructed, as many as six according to the resolution. The venues would have been located away from the larger cities as well as the Native American reservations. A state commission would have been put in place to regulate the industry.

However, these plans are now null and void as the lawmakers of the House voted in opposition of the measure, 28-63. If moved forward, the resolution would have asked voters in the general election of 2018 to amend the constitution of the state to allow for the casinos to be constructed.

Proponents for expanded gaming in the state would like to see the resolution voted upon as lawmakers can be proactive. Those in favor fear that the casino question may come to the ballot via a measure by the public which gives lawmakers less control.

Tribal groups in the state are not in favor of the resolution, along with charitable gaming groups. Representatives of the tribes and charitable organizations testified against the resolution in its original form earlier this month, stating they are afraid such casino gaming would be a drain to their revenues. Currently, casinos are allowed on tribal lands in the state via federal law while the state constitution allows for charitable gaming as well as multi-state lottery.

Mark Fox is the Chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes who stated that the vote on the matter was the best decision for all parties involved. Fox previously spoke with lawmakers and stated that the revenues the tribe earns are used for services that would be greatly diminished if the state were to allow such casinos to be created.

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