Will North Dakota Be A Safe Haven For Online Poker

by Lou on July 28, 2006

Last night on Keep Flopping Aces, the internet radio show that airs weekly on www.holdemradio.com at 9:00 pm Eastern Time, I interviewed North Dakota state representative Jim Kasper, who’s sponsoring legislation that would make his state a safe harbor for any online poker site willing to locate their servers there and use North Dakota’s state owned bank – they are the only state in the country that owns its own bank – to safeguard player funds.

Jim Kasper’s Efforts to Make North Dakota a Safe Haven for Online Poker
Kasper tried this a year ago. His bill cleared the state’s House of Representative but failed to clear the North Dakota Senate after a letter sent by the United States Department of Justice warned that online poker “may” be illegal according to the Wire Act.

Nobody believes the Wire Act covers online gaming, not even US Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who along with Congressman Jim Leach of Iowa is sponsoring legislation that would amend the Wire Act of 1961 to cover online gaming. After all, if the Wire Act did cover online gaming, the Leach-Goodlatte bill would be redundant.

This time Jim Kasper is ready for the Department of Justice and is educating his colleagues about the issues. North Dakota’s Attorney General is ready to take the US Department of Justice to court if this law passes and DOJ tries to hinder their efforts based on the applicability of the Wire Act.

Kasper Needs Support from Online Poker Firms
So what else does Jim Kasper need to succeed? Only the cooperation of the online gaming industry. In order to craft legislation that meets the needs of players and industry both, he’s seeking input from the leading online poker firms who would reap the rewards of locating in North Dakota should his bill pass in 2007.

In part, this blog post is also an open letter to representatives of the online gaming community. I’m urging you to reach out to Mr. Kasper. His email address is: JMKasper@amg-nd.com.

I’d love to see online poker firms come home to the United States and bring jobs and capital with them, while providing a safe and regulated online gaming experience from within the United States.

Here’s How You Can Help
If you are reading this and are associated with an online poker firm, please contact Jim Kasper and see what you can do to help. You might just reap the enormous rewards of being first into the market if his bill becomes law in North Dakota.

If You Want to Listen to the Interview
If you missed the show when it aired live, you can go to www.holdemradio.com and listen to it in the show vault archives. You will also be able to lsiten to it as a podcast on iTunes in a few days. The interivew with Jim Kasper actually began on Wade’s Words, which airs immediately before Keep Flopping Aces, and continued after the break on Keep Flopping Aces. It’s informative, worth listening to, and if you are involved with an online poker site, you can help by getting involved with Jim Kasper’s efforts to provide a safe haven for a US-based, regulated online poker industry in North Dakota.

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