BISMARCK – An amendment to remove schools from the intent of a sports betting resolution failed in the North Dakota State Senate Wednesday.
House Concurrent Resolution 3002 would put on the November 2024 ballot a constitutional measure to allow sports betting in the state.
The Senate Judiciary committee created an amendment to remove high schools, colleges, and universities from the intent of sports betting, an amendment which failed on the Senate floor. The amendment changes the wording from the legislative assembly “shall” authorize sports betting to “may” authorize sports betting, and it adds “to be conducted on professional sports,” to ensure sports betting would not take place on school grounds.
“Serious problems with mental health issues among high school, college, and university athletes such as mental exhaustion, anxiety, and depression are increasing intensively,” said Sen. Larry Luick, R-Dis. 25, Fairmount. “Allowing gambling at this level is also creating financial problems on student populations on these campuses that have allowed the gambling.”
Luick said gambling on specific players creates pressure from social media to play either well or poorly depending on the bet.
“There’s no reference of high school or collegiate athletics in this resolution,” said Sen. Scott Meyer, R-Dis. 18, Grand Forks. “This is going in the constitution. That is talking about policy. We want to keep this clean, barebone. Someone yesterday mentioned the constitution is essentially a skeleton, barebones article. I would like to keep it that way. If it passes here and on the ballot, we can work on policy in 2025.”
The amendment to the resolution failed by a vote of 24 to 23. The resolution as originally introduced will be voted on by the Senate.