North Dakota

Little / None

The State of North Dakota makes clear what constitutes unlawful gambling within its borders:

12.1-28-01. Gambling - Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

1. "Gambling means risking any money, credit, deposit, or other thing of value for gain, contingent, wholly or partially, upon lot, chance, the operation of gambling apparatus, or the happening or outcome of an event, including an election or sporting event, over which the person taking the risk has no control. Gambling does not include:

  • Lawful contests of skill, speed, strength, or endurance in which awards are made only to entrants or to the owners of entries;
  • Lawful business transactions, or other acts or transactions now or hereafter expressly authorized by law; or
  • Use of gaming equipment and devices that may not otherwise be lawful in the state when the equipment or devices are used by any institution under the control of the state board of higher education which awards degrees of bachelor's or higher for the purpose of conducting scientific research in a controlled environment on the campus of that institution."

Interestingly enough, gambling is only an infraction in the event that the player wagers in excess of $25 on any hand, wager or event.  In other words, provided a player is wagering $25 (or less) per hand, wager or event, the player is actually in the clear.  

In the State of North Dakota, infractions are punishable by up to $500 in fines with no jail time unless one has committed the same infraction within the last year, in which event, the fine can be up to $1,000 with up to thirty days imprisonment.  

Those who engage in the business of unlawful gambling that do not directly own or have interest in the entity conducting same can be guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year of imprisonment as well as up to $2,000 in fines.  However, if it does not involve machines, this would only apply for illegal lotteries and instances in which monies in excess of $500 are risked by an individual player on a game, hand or event.  

Those who actually own or control illegal gambling operations may be found guilty of a Class C Felony which can carry with it a maximum of five years imprisonment, fines of up to $10,000, or both.  

Searches turn up no instance of an individual or group being arrested for the operation of illegal gambling in the State of North Dakota, probably largely because certain minimum bets would be required to make it illegal and nobody gets arrested anywhere for participating as a mere player.

We are going to rank North Dakota as having Little/None in terms of restrictions on online gambling simply because a player betting less than $25 per hand, game or event would seem to be operating fully within the law. Furthermore, the penalties for betting more than that are pretty minimal for mere players, and players never get arrested for playing online anyway.

FINAL RANKING: Little/None-2

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