Dakota citizens to vote on legalizing Online Poker - Saturday 12th of March 2005

The Bismark Tribune carried good news for poker fans this week when it reported that state legislators wanting to legalize Internet poker in North Dakota had won another victory when the House voted 50-44 in favor of a resolution that would put the question to a vote in the June ballot.

House Concurrent Resolution 3035 allows citizens to vote on whether the North Dakota Constitution should be amended to make Internet poker legal.

The vote on the resolution was taken yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) following a four-hour hearing on House Bill 1509, a separate bill which would set guidelines for establishing the industry in the state.

Supporters of the game say millions of people are already gambling on the Internet on offshore sites that receive little or no regulation. Rep. Blair Thoreson said regulating the industry will help reduce problems with those who already play the game. "If we don't do something to regulate it, who knows what the downside is," Thoreson said.

Internet poker sites operate offshore because of fear of the 1961 Wire Act, which was aimed at preventing betting over the phone lines. However, supporters of the legislation say that law does not apply to Internet poker.

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