Tuesday, February 2, 2021 | Written by Renee
In 2005, North Dakota made headlines in the global online poker industry after Republican representative Jim Kasper drafted a bill to legalize online poker in the state.
During this time, Kasper was contesting the Interstate Wire Act of 1961, which made all forms of online gambling a criminal offense. The law received sufficient support from parliament, but was ultimately rejected in the Senate because several senators were concerned about violating federal law.
Kasper introduces new online poker proposal
Now, 15 years after his first attempt to push online poker in North Dakota, Kasper is making another attempt, but this time around he wants to make sure he’s getting enough support from local residents.
Kasper, who has been a member of the North Dakota House of Representatives since 2000 and represents District 46, recently introduced laws that allow residents to vote on whether or not to legalize online poker in the state.
House Concurrent Resolution 3012 would put the question on the 2022 general election, and if passed by a simple majority, the constitution would be amended to allow online poker. Kasper’s proposal is just a mere change, which means that no legal framework or details on taxation are yet available. You will find out whether the measure was passed successfully.
Kasper can’t say yet if he has enough supporters in the legislature who have hit the expansion of gambling hard over the years, but the District 46 representative said his proposal was supported by two parties.
The latest Wire Act ruling could help Kasper’s campaign
Much has changed since 2005, when Kasper first introduced laws to legalize online poker in North Dakota, particularly with regard to the Wire Act.
In 2011, the Justice Department believed that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting. This paved the way for some states to open their respective regulated online gambling markets. While the DOJ under the Trump administration reversed that view in 2018, the latest developments regarding an ongoing litigation on the matter speak in favor of online gambling.
North Dakota should also include online gambling
According to Kasper, the rise of the internet has made it possible for people to do almost anything online, including gambling. Online activity has been further intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic as people have been forced to restrict their movement and have switched to online entertainment as a result. More states are also supporting the expansion of gambling, and Kasper believes that North Dakota should join the trend as well.
North Dakota is home to more than 762,062 people, according to the 2020 census. In Kasper’s 2005 proposal, the Peace Garden State agreed to generate up to $ 500 million in annual taxes if online poker was legalized.
But things are so much different now, and the poker landscape has evolved too, so Kasper prefers not to focus on the complex details right now. His efforts now are mainly aimed at getting the House and Senate support to pass the measure so that North Dakota residents can vote on the issue in the 2022 general election.
If the outcome of the vote ultimately favors Kasper’s cause, he will take the next steps on regulation and taxation. Assuming all goes well, online poker wouldn’t run in North Dakota until 2023 at the earliest.
Kasper, who has been playing poker since childhood, believes that other people should be given the opportunity to play and enjoy the game. In addition to online poker, Kasper is also interested in bringing sports betting to North Dakota. He announced that he is also currently working on a bill to legalize the game.
Kasper said the North Dakota poker community could join his cause by contacting their representatives and convincing them to support his latest move. He also urges online poker fans and players from other countries to continue to raise awareness so that the game will be accepted in their respective states.