North Dakota State Rep. Jim Kasper plans to introduce a bill in the state legislature during its next session that would legalize Internet poker in the state. Internet poker companies would be able to set-up there legally with their hardware, software, and employees.
Kasper, who is a Republican, called the online gambling ban proposal in Congress "ridiculous," and said his fellow Republicans just don't get it when it comes to Internet gambling.
With Kasper's plan, Internet poker sites would be able to use North Dakota as a sort of "safe haven" to set up shop in the United States. They would be required to set up in the state and would have to use North Dakota's state-owned bank in order to protect gamblers' money and prevent money laundering.
There would be software mandates put in place to provide age-verification protections and allow the state to monitor for individuals who exhibit addictive behavior. The companies would also be limited to poker in order to avoid any issues with sports betting legality.
The online gambling companies would benefit from the situation by gaining more legitimacy, and the state would benefit from the legalization by taxing the Internet poker businesses and being able to reduce property taxes for its residents.
Kasper said even if the federal government manages to pass its online gambling ban into law, he would still put forth his proposal in North Dakota because he believes gambling is a state issue and not a federal one. He contends that Congress has a right to prevent crime, but not to stop online Texas Hold'em sessions.
This will be Kasper's second attempt to pass legislation legalizing online gambling in North Dakota. In 2005, it passed in the state house, but was overwhelmingly voted down in the state senate.
Related articles: North Dakota Representative May Abandon Pro-Poker Initiative.