Rep. Jim Kasper is attempting to deliver on-line poker to North Dakota


January 31, 2021
Chad Holloway

After Wolverine State went online last week, five states now offer licensed and regulated online poker – Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. If Rep. Jim Kasper has something to say, North Dakota will be added to the list.

Earlier this month, Kasper, a Republican who has represented District 46 (Fargo) since 2001, introduced House Concurrent Resolution 3012, an attempt to measure the 2022 population election, asking residents if they would like to allow online poker or not . The measure has already shown cross-party support in the house.

"The country is relying more and more on online games," said Kasper a week after the introduction of his bill. "Let's not leave North Dakota as one of the few states that won't allow it."

If the measure is on the ballot and passed by a simple majority, it would pass and amend the state constitution to allow online poker. From there the process of actually bringing in online poker would begin – such as taxes, legislation, etc – which means if all goes well, 2023 would be the earliest timeframe that online poker would be in The Peace Garden State could appear to a population of over 762,062 according to the 2020 census.

In other words, it's a mere change to see if North Dakota residents want to play online poker or not. If so, the details will be found out afterwards.

Not the first time Kasper has tried

Kasper is actually a longtime poker player and lawyer. He grew up playing poker with his uncle as a child and Tag in their small coal mining community. He then caught the mistake during the "Poker Boom" after watching Chris Moneymaker win the World Series of Poker (WSOP) on ESPN, and he fell in love quickly.

During a visit to a card room in neighboring Minnesota, Kasper picked up a copy of CardPlayer magazine and saw an article by Roy Cooke asking why no US states legalized and regulated online poker as a company in the country Wanted to open business. Kasper contacted Cooke to learn more. He then did further research and decided to take the initiative by introducing a bill in 2005.

"It's just a game I enjoy. I think other people should be able to play it too."

"It's just a game I enjoy. I think other people should be able to play it too," Kasper said in interviews.

As part of the process. Kasper invited people to testify before the North Dakota Senate, including Allyn Jaffrey Shulman and 2004 WSOP champion Greg Raymer, as well as well-known businessman Nigel Payne and a party game attorney who had traveled from Israel.

“We did a really good show. We had a poker night for the Legislators to show them how to play the game, ”said Kasper, who knocked Raymer out of a 10-player tournament but ended up losing his head to Shulman.

The entire industry watched this bill, which easily got around the house but ultimately failed in the Senate after the attorney general sought an opinion on the 1961 Interstate Wire Act. At the time, they believed the Wire Act would cause trouble Senators who feared it would violate federal law voted 43: 3.

Earlier this year, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals again ruled that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting and reopened the door to other online games across the country.

The 2005 law requiring online poker companies to operate in North Dakota is expected to generate taxes of up to $ 500 million annually, 80 percent of which was intended to cut property taxes. However, times have changed significantly since the “poker boom” and Kasper realizes that his endeavors must change too. Therefore, his focus here is not on the details but on the simple question of whether or not North Dakota citizens should have online poker.

PokerNews chats with Rep. Kasper

On last week's episode of PokerNews Podcast, the featured guest was Rep. Kasper, who came straight from the floor of the state assembly. He was optimistic about the possibility that his second bill might succeed.

"I think if I can get the House and Senate to put it on the ballot, I think people will get it passed, but here in North Dakota there is still a pretty powerful lobby against the expansion of gambling ", he said. “You and I both know that people play online, all kinds of things. Sports betting are pretty big. I'm working on another bill to bring sports betting to North Dakota. People are playing more and more, and I think the people of North Dakota should have the opportunity. "

Kasper then said North Dakota poker players can help support the cause by contacting their representatives.

“It would be very helpful to the North Dakota poker community if they emailed their representatives in their district. Flood them with emails in their own words about why they should pass the bill on. "

Click here for a list of all North Dakota representatives with their email and contact information.

Players outside of North Dakota can show their support by helping raise awareness in the hope that other states will follow suit.

PokerNews will continue to monitor the online poker situation in North Dakota and keep you informed of Kasper's efforts.