Update: Washington DC Supports Online Gambling

Political hearings to come

The controversial legalization of online gambling in the US state of Washington DC still seems to trigger much dispute – this time, councilor Jack Evans seeks to continue with political hearings on the measure even though the public that attended briefing sessions reacted positively to the new law.

Yet, this does not seem to be enough for Evans, a Democratic Party councilor, who holds the chair of the Committee on Finance and Revenue, as he showed firm intention to hold hearings at the same time as a bill to repeal the program altogether.

The bill, which is currently intrastate law, was introduced by Evans’s fellow councillor and Democrat Tommy Wells, whose aim at the time was to repeal the iGaming law and “weigh the pros and cons in full daylight.” The bill was passed attached to a supplementary budget bill, which Evans complained, stating that the public had not originally been briefed on the bill.

This is why the DC Lottery held nine briefing sessions, which according to its director Buddy Roogow triggered such positive reception by the public that the Lottery does not plan to change the essential components of its online gambling plan.

“I think the substantial majority of people who attended and spoke were supportive,” Roogow said. Yet, he agreed that how the revenues from iGaming should be used may be of concern and trigger some opposition to the concept of online gambling.

According to him, random-number-generated games and Victory at Sea have been held off and only four games are initially introduced - poker, blackjack, bingo and E-scratch – with more to come in the future.

In addition, it has been claimed that strict monitoring has been employed by the lottery to avoid cheating, underage or irresponsible play and caps losses at $250 per week among its participants.

As for the hearings Evans intends to pursue, they will probably be scheduled only after he receives a report from the Office of the Inspector General on the award of the D.C. Lottery contract and how online gambling was passed into law. The councilor himself confirmed that it is unlikely that any hearings will be held before early 2012 due to the holiday season disruption.

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