North Dakota’s bid to become first US state to regulate online poker rejected by Senate
Thursday 24th March 2005
North Dakota has been thwarted in its bid to regulate internet poker following a landslide defeat in the Senate. Bill HB1509, spearheaded by Sen. Jim Kasper, R-Fargo, received only four votes in support. Sens. Connie Triplett, D-Grand Forks, John Syverson, R-Fargo, and Jack Traynor, R-Devils Lake, backed the measure along with Sen. Kasper, while 44 voted against.
Opponents of the Bill cited U.S. Justice Department's position that Internet gambling in general is illegal as the reason for their stand against the measure. 'There are at least three federal laws out there that make this legislation suspect,' said Sen. Carolyn Nelson, D-Fargo.
Others simply felt that increased opportunities to gamble were not welcome in the state. 'This is just another vehicle for more gambling in North Dakota, and I'm not sure that we want it,' said Sen. David Nething, R-Jamestown.
Had the bill been approved it would have gone to a public vote. 'It strikes me that we should let the people of the state decide if they want this,' Sen. Traynor said, 'The promoters have told us it could amount ... to some significant economic activity in our communities.'