Published March 9, 2023

Senate Kills House Gambling Exemption 

Written by
Lydia Hoverson
| The Dakotan
Inside this portion of the North Dakota State Capitol are the House and the Senate. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)
Inside this portion of the North Dakota State Capitol are the House and the Senate. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)

Bill Attempted to Exempt Poker Runs 


BISMARCK – An attempt by the North Dakota State House to exempt riding poker runs from charitable gambling laws was killed on the Senate side Thursday. 

House Bill 1152 would have made an exception to charitable gambling laws for those who aid, organize, engage, or participate in a ride to conduct a poker run. 

The Senate Judiciary committee gave the bill a Do Not Pass recommendation by a vote of seven to zero. The bill carrier, Sen. Larry Luick, R-Dis. 25, Fairmount, said the poker run spoken of in the bill could be with a motorcycle, snowmobile, car, tractor, horse, and more. 

“There’s all kinds of poker events that are fun events to have this rule,” said Luick. “We are not against those that are put together properly and abide by the established rules. House Bill 1152 asks to exempt anyone or group that wanted to conduct a poker run for any reason as long as they wanted, or any amount of money without regulation. This would essentially be wide open gambling and your Judiciary committee felt this was just too much of a gambling increase.” 

The bill came out of the House Judiciary committee with a Do Pass vote of seven to six. 

When the bill came to the House floor, the bill sponsor, Rep. Matt Ruby, R-Dis. 40, Minot, told the assembly the intent of the bill was not to create a carve out with no regulation. 

Rep. Matt Ruby, R-Dis. 40, Minot. (Photo: submitted)

“The big change here is that currently we do one annual ride for PTSD awareness, and if there’s a veteran or someone else in town that we want to do a ride for, we can continue to do that as long as we get these permits that we already have to do,” said Ruby. “The special use permit the attorney general allows for a poker run, you can do one a year. That’s what we’re trying to address here. We used to be able to do a lot more for charities. Now we’re limited. We’re not trying to open this up.” 

Though HB1152 passed the House by a vote of 51 to 40, it failed in the Senate by a vote of 38 to 8. 

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