North Dakota Casinos and Gambling

North Dakota has a small population and is famous for harsh winter weather.

Surprisingly the state offers a wide range of gambling options including casino games, poker, lottery games, and horse tracks.

The reason I say surprisingly is that North Dakota is a large state based on land size but a small state as far as population. This creates a small number of people per square mile. The state also isn’t a big tourist destination.

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All of these things are the opposite of what most casino owners look for when deciding where to build.

On the other hand, the residents of North Dakota are known for their ability to survive the harsh winters, their ranching background (often going back generations), and their desire to mind their own affairs. In other words, they want to do what they want and not have outside interests interfering. From this standpoint, it’s no surprise at all they have a thriving casino industry.

Here’s more information about some of the casinos, poker rooms, and horse tracks in North Dakota.

Dakota Magic Casino – Dakota Magic Casino is located in Hankinson, North Dakota. The casino offers over 95,000 square feet of casino floor space, 900 slot machines, video poker, video keno, craps, blackjack, roulette, and live poker action. If you’re traveling in an RV, they have an overnight RV parking lot. You’ll also find a hotel with 160 rooms and four places to eat on the property.

4 Bears Casino & Lodge – At the 4 Bears Casino & Lodge in New Town, guests can play many different forms of games including Texas hold em poker, video poker, Three Card Poker, blackjack, roulette, Let It Ride, video keno, and slot machines. The 4 Bears Casino & Lodge poker room offers daily Texas Hold’em tournaments and low stakes cash games.

Prairie Knights Casino & Resort – Fort Yates is home to the Prairie Knights Casino and Resort. RV travelers enjoy the Prairie Knights Casino & Resort because they have a spacious parking lot that is equipped for RV parking. Inside the casino, guests have the opportunity to play all sorts of great casino games including blackjack, craps, Three Card Poker, Let It Ride, video poker, and slot machines.

Sky Dancer Hotel & Casino – Sky Dancer Hotel and Casino is located in Belcourt. The casino includes a large gaming floor, two restaurants, and a gift shop. The casino games you can play at Sky Dancer include slot machines, video poker, blackjack, roulette, Let It Ride and Four Card Poker. Other gambling on the property includes simulcast horse race wagering and a small poker room.

Spirit Lake Casino & Resort – Spirit Lake Casino and Resort is located along Highway 57 S in Spirit Lake, North Dakota. The casino has 45,000 square feet of slots, table games, and other casino action. You can stay in the hotel that has 108 rooms, visit the bingo hall, or eat at the buffet.

Turtle Mountain Chippewa Mini Casino – Turtle Mountain Chippewa Mini Casino is a small casino that is affiliated with the nearby Sky Dancer Hotel & Casino in Belcourt. This casino is exclusively a place for slots, video poker, and video keno players to play their favorite games.

To get an idea of how widespread the gambling business is in North Dakota, here’s a list of all the cities and town that have some form of gambling, including off-track horse betting facilities.

  • Belcourt
  • Bismark
  • Devil’s Lake
  • Dickinson
  • Fargo
  • Fort Yates
  • Grafton
  • Grand Forks
  • Gwinner
  • Hankinson
  • Jamestown
  • Lakota
  • Langdon
  • Leeds
  • Maddock
  • Mandan
  • Mayville
  • Minot
  • Napoleon
  • New Town
  • Noonan
  • Saint Michael
  • Sheyenne
  • Spiritwood
  • Thompson
  • Tolley
  • Trenton
  • Wahpeton
  • Walcott
  • West Fargo
  • Williston

North Dakota Race Tracks

North Dakota has a horse track in Belcourt called the Chippewa Downs Racetrack and one in Fargo called the North Dakota Horse Park. Check with the horse track before traveling to make sure they’re open. Neither track runs races year round.
North Dakota licenses a wide range of establishments to accept off-track betting on horse races. Most states require places that accept wagers on horse races to have other wagering activity, but many places accepting bets in North Dakota are bars or other small businesses.

North Dakota Poker Rooms

Poker rooms are available in many of the casinos located in North Dakota. You can play poker at 4 Bears Casino, Dakota Magic, Sky Dancer, and Spirit Lake Casino and Resort.

North Dakota was one of the first states that attempted to legalize online poker in 2005. The federal government stepped in and discouraged the state from passing the required laws and it hasn’t been revived.

Looking back, North Dakota was just a few years ahead of time as we now have legal online poker in a few states including Nevada and New Jersey. As more states enter the online poker market hopefully North Dakota re-introduces laws to allow their players to compete onlne.

North Dakota Lottery

The lottery is another popular form of gambling in North Dakota. Lottery games available include the Hot Lotto, Powerball, and Megamillions. You can purchase your tickets from convenience stores and grocery stores around the state. The North Dakota lottery includes scratch tickets, which are available at most lottery ticket selling points.

Residents can also sign up for lottery subscriptions that allow them to purchase lottery tickets online. Only residents of the state may buy tickets online.

North Dakota Slot Machine Ownership

Slot machines ownership is legal in the state of North Dakota, but state legislation prevents ownership of slot machines that are newer than 25 years old.


With numerous casinos, poker rooms, and a couple horse tracks, North Dakota is a different, but nice, place to visit if you want to gamble. (Just don’t come in the winter.)