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Nonprofit organizations in North Dakota will oppose casinos

Mar 16, 2017 9:37 AM

Leaders of nonprofit organizations in North Dakota say they’ll oppose any recent state legislative proposals that would create as many as six state-owned casinos.

State-run casinos would take a big bite out of the gaming profits many North Dakota charities rely on to run their programs, according to Jonathan Jorgensen, president of the board of directors for the Charitable Gaming Association of North Dakota. “It could affect services for tens of thousands of people, to be honest,” Jorgensen told the Bismarck Tribune.

The nonprofit gaming association speaks for nearly 350 licensed organizations, operating 900 gaming sites statewide. The organization, in a unanimous vote, is opposing the plan, which requires the State Legislature to approve it in addition to a statewide vote by North Dakotans next year.

The North Dakota Association for the Disabled operates 10 gaming sites in Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck and Minot and is the largest such entity in the state. Its CEO Don Santer, reports to the Bismarck Tribune, the organization relies on gaming for about 75 percent of its budget and charities stand to lose as much as 25 percent of their gaming funds to state-owned casinos, if the plan for state-owned casinos is approved.

Right now, casinos in North Dakota are allowed only on tribal land through federal law.