One of the northernmost and least populated states, North Dakota is well known for its beautiful landscapes, sun dogs (atmospheric optical phenomenon which appear as bright spots on either side of the sun) as well as being the childhood home of American musician and TV host, Lawrence Welk. With a primary focus on agriculture, North Dakota happens to be the least visited state in the US in terms of tourism, owing in part to having no major tourist attractions. That said, residents of North Dakota are still partial to a bit of fun and recreation, including hunting and fishing, as well as skiing and snowmobiling in winter. What about online gambling, though? Are residents allowed to enjoy Facebook Casinos and social casino apps? What about fun play casinos, which feature some free fun online slots? Let’s take a look at some of the legislations in place.
North Dakota Online Gambling Licences
It comes as no surprise that different states across the US will have different laws in place regarding gambling (both online and land-based). Interestingly, despite being a state focussed on agriculture, North Dakota claims one of the highest concentrations of gambling establishments per capita in the entire country. This is largely due to the legalisation of ‘charitable gambling’ as far back as 1977. A 5-member commission regulates this type of gaming, which is an arm of the state attorney general’s office. In short, it grants licensed to NGOs allowing raffles, bingo games, sports pools, blackjack and poker games and even paddlewheels. There are approximately 800 charitable casino operations in the state – but none of them offer slot machines. The proceeds from these organisations must be used for educational, charitable, fraternal, patriotic or religious services.
Slot machines can, however, be found in the 5 medium-sized tribal casinos found across the state, such as the Dakota Magic Casino in Hankinson and the Prairie Knights Casino in Fort Yates. But, what about online gambling?
As with many states across the US, this matter is highly debatable. The language around the matter is vague, but it’s generally understood that as long as a person isn’t operating an online gambling business of their own, they’re still welcome to play offshore.
Online Gaming Options in North Dakota
Because of the often unclear laws surrounding residents of the US playing at online casinos, many offshore online casinos may downright forbid US citizens from opening accounts or depositing funds. This is more often a means of the casinos protecting themselves than anything else. Therefore, many people choose to sign up to fun play casinos and free play online casinos, where real cash isn’t an option, but free fun online slots are still quite popular. That being said, there are a number of international online casinos that would accept residents from North Dakota, and these include:
- Aladdin’s Gold
- Club World Casinos
This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are plenty of online casinos to choose from. Of course, always bear in mind that the most reputable destinations will clearly list their licensed and accreditations. Many residents of North Dakota prefer to keep on the safe side when it comes to online gaming, thereby choosing to play at social casino apps or sites. Because no real money is involved, there is absolutely zero concern for legal implications should they be found out, and the top choices include:
- Activision Blizzard
- Korean Nexon
For those players who still wish to go ahead and play online for real money, it’s a good idea to check whether or not their preferred banking method is listed as an option.
For some or other reason, lawmakers in North Dakota have something of a chip on the shoulder when it comes to slot machines. As we have already seen, these are not allowed (even in charitable casino organisations), and while some people can still get their slots action in online, most prefer to abide by the legislations. In 2005, though, a bill was actually introduced to license and regulate online poker. Unfortunately, it was voted down. So, players can still get their game on in the face of blurry laws, but it’s generally accepted that online gaming should be limited to the ability to bet on horse races or purchase lottery tickets or subscriptions online. Players who sign up for online casinos can still get their poker faces on within the casino software, while the following two options are available with a sole focus on poker:
- Fresh Deck Poker
- Zynga Poker
In the face of such blurry legislations around online gaming, many residents of North Dakota can take solace in the fact that while running an online gaming organisation within the state is illegal, they can still play at international online destinations. It is unclear as to why slots machines remain such a contentious issue, whether online or physical, while options like sports betting and poker seem to slide under the radar.
Charitable casinos and land-based tribal casinos are given the green light across the board, as their contributions appear to benefit the state itself. It’s easy to understand why online gaming might not be seen as very favourable, given that winnings will simply go straight to the player. Still, gambling is a pastime that has been enjoyed for hundreds of years, and residents of North Dakota can technically still play online – it’s just a bit sticky in terms of what is and what isn’t deemed legal.
For those who are happy to play away without risk of losing money or running into the law, they can learn how to play Facebook casinos or simply try some free fun online slots at a number of fun play casinos and free play online casinos. There are plenty out there – one need only look.