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North Dakota Online Gambling Legislation Passes House

31 Mar 2005

UNITED STATES – As reported by the El Paso Times: "Undeterred by murky federal law and emboldened by a trade ruling, at least three states are edging toward legalizing online gambling, and the United Kingdom is on the verge of permitting its land-based casinos to take bets online from U.S. citizens.

"Those are the latest assaults on the federal Wire Act of 1961, which bans use of telephones to place sports bets. U.S. lawmakers have struggled for a decade to update the law, hoping to restrain the fast-growing, $10 billion-a-year Internet gambling industry.

"…Lawmakers say they are confident proposed legislation will not violate federal law, and they are willing to defend themselves in court.

"'No one wants tax increases. This is a legitimate revenue maker,' says Republican North Dakota state Rep. Jim Kasper of Fargo. He introduced legislation that would allow Internet poker sites to operate inside the state. It has passed the House.

"Kasper says legalized Internet poker could bring in millions through taxes and fees. North Dakota's constitution would have to be amended, he says. The state attorney general's office, which would regulate sites, last week received a letter from the Justice Department reiterating the federal ban on all Internet gambling.

"…Illinois' legislature is considering a bill to allow the sale of lottery tickets online to state residents 18 and older…"

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