BISMARCK — The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa recently signed a deal with a gaming company to bring sports betting at both of its casinos.

The Sky Dancer Casino and Resort and Grand Treasure Casino will soon have kiosks and trading services through International Gaming Technology's PlaySports platform to bet on the outcomes of U.S. sporting events, points and player performance, among other markers.

"The addition of sports betting will expand our casino entertainment and offer our loyal patrons and sports fans alike new ways to play," Turtle Mountain Chairman Jamie Azure said in a statement.

Sports betting is illegal in North Dakota, though the laws do not apply to tribal nations since they are sovereign. Last year, North Dakota lawmakers struck down two bills that would have made sports betting legal. Some opponents worried legal sports betting would increase rates of gambling addiction.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized sports betting since the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that opened the door for individual states to decide whether to allow it.

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Sky Dancer Casino in Belcourt, N.D., and the Grand Treasure Casino in Trenton, N.D., are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are reopening with safety precautions on Oct. 1.

Sports betting is a $150 billion industry, according to the website, and by 2024 roughly half of America's residents will live in states that have legalized sports betting.

Four Bears Casino, located in New Town and operated by the MHA Nation, has betting available for NFL games and UFC fights.

Last year, a bill that would have allowed people to use electronic devices at simulcast facilities to place bets on horse races failed to pass the North Dakota Senate. North Dakotans can still place bets at live races and on online platforms.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Michelle Griffith, a Report for America corps member, at