The whole ordeal began well for the online poker community in the state. The House of Representatives introduced the House Concurrent Resolution 3012 last month, and the bill was set to put the legalization of online poker up for debate by the people.
In other words, the resolution would have allowed for online poker legalization to find a place on the 2022 state election ballot.
However, even though the House approved this bill and sent it to the Senate, the senators have decided to vote it down unanimously. This was somewhat expected, as the Senate has shown a strong hesitation to most gambling forms in the past. Only a week before, they voted down, putting sports betting legalization on the ballot.
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North Dakota Senate Against Gambling
The aversion towards gambling, in general, is known to many gamblers in the state. Despite the wave of legalizations sweeping the whole country, North Dakota remains one of the few states seemingly completely disinterested in legalizing any form of gambling.
At the moment, only dog and horse racing is allowed, as long as it’s licensed, as well as lottery, bingo, pari-mutuel wagering, pull-tabs, and charitable raffles and bingo.
Strong Proponents of Gambling in the State
Fortunately for players in the state, this hasn’t stopped representatives from the House from putting bills forward up to debate in the hopes that something would change at some point. The above-mentioned House Concurrent Resolution 3012 was introduced by Jim Kasper, the Fargo Republican Rep.
He, and many other supporters of online poker and gambling in general, have said that making these games legal is important for the state. As they say, North Dakotans are already involved in numerous poker games online, even though the game is not legalized.
The Benefits of Legalized Gambling
It would be good for the state if online poker were to become legal as that would enable it to tax the activity. What’s more, players wouldn’t have to keep looking for places on the web to play poker and would finally be able to freely play their favorite game on legal North Dakotan websites.
Despite this argument, the senate didn’t consider the bill for online poker as they did for sports betting. No debate began in the Senate, as the Grand Forks Republican Senator Scott Meyer admitted that the Senate would surely fail it and decided to pass on it.
He was the one who brought the bill to the floor, but he already knew the Senate’s general attitude toward gambling legalization and realized there was no point in debating the issue at that moment.
Naturally, we can still expect online poker proponents like Jim Kasper to keep pushing the issue in the future. With other states legalizing online gambling, North Dakota will likely give in at some point, but it remains to be seen when.