Online Poker Legalization Makes Progress in North Dakota and Illinois
Two states have recently stepped up their efforts to welcome online poker into their respective jurisdictions.
In Illinois, an online gaming bill has just been submitted to the state’s legislature, while in North Dakota, a bill that would pave the way for the introduction of online poker in the state has already passed the House.
In January, North Dakota Representative Jim Kasper introduced “House Concurrent Resolution 3012“, which would put a measure on the 2022 general election ballot to allow residents to vote on whether or not online poker should be legalized in The Peace Garden State. On Tuesday, February 24, that bill was passed by a 54-40 vote.
According to Rep. Kasper, a Senate vote is expected by mid-March, as Senators are still currently on recess.
For years, North Dakota has blocked efforts to allow gaming expansion in the state. In fact, it only approved a state lottery in 2002 after 12 long years. When it comes to online poker, this isn’t the first time that Rep. Kasper has made a push. The Republican, who has represented District 46 (Fargo) since 2001, also submitted an online poker bill in 2005. Unfortunately, the measure failed to get enough support due to concerns over the Wire Act.
After 16 years, Rep. Kasper, who is a long-time advocate of poker and is a poker player himself, is taking a second shot at bringing online poker to North Dakota. With the latest ruling in relation to the Wire Act case, there are high hopes that the state would finally embrace the game.
Online Gaming Legalization Push in Illinois
Meanwhile in Illinois, a bill has been introduced to speed up the online gaming launch process, courtesy of state representatives Robert Rita and Jonathan Carroll.
HB 3142 not only seeks to allow online gaming in the Prairie State, it also aims to expedite the process, requiring state regulators to establish regulations within 90 days under the “Internet Gaming Act“. This means Illinois residents would no longer have to wait for months or even years before seeing an actual launch.
Most importantly, the bill would also allow Illinois to join multi-state gaming agreements, meaning if online poker is successfully launched in the state, it could participate in the existing shared liquidity agreement between Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.
Rep. Carroll is optimistic that the bill would gain strong support. The bill now goes to the Committee which will decide on whether or not it should be brought to the floor for a vote.