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North Dakota Holds Another Hearing On Multi-State Online Poker Bill from USBets' Brian Pempus

Efforts to bring regulated online poker to North Dakota and allow the state to enter into liquidity sharing deals with other online poker states continued to advance this week in Bismarck.

On Monday, the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee heard arguments in favor of a proposal to put online poker up to the voters of the state, along with a companion bill to implement the will of the people. The House passed the measures earlier this year, and now the Senate has them for consideration.

The man spearheading the efforts is state Rep. Jim Kasper. Kasper, a Republican who said Monday that his proposal is “very simple.” Kasper also led an unsuccessful online poker push in the mid-2000s.

“At the height of online poker, there was an estimated 300 million players worldwide,” Kasper said, “and many of them in the United States. … This would be a vote of the people, they would decide whether or not they wish it.” Kasper didn’t cite any data on the number of North Dakotans who play(ed).

Kasper called poker “much more of a game of skill than a game of chance” in comparison to other forms of gambling. Kasper noted that North Dakota has long, dark winters, and people are already playing online poker from home right now. He also cited his experience playing poker with family members as a kid, and how many fellow residents enjoy the game as a pastime.


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