DC Council Members Claim They Were Tricked Into Online Gambling
Washington DC came within a couple of hours of becoming the first jurisdiction in the US to run an online casino. The DC Council, however, pulled the plug at the last minute, and now thousands of residents are left gambling at foreign online sites not regulated by the US government.
In 2009, the Council approved a lottery contract that authorized online gambling. At the time, the Council believed they were making a smart business decision that would lead to millions of dollars in tax revenue. Instead, what they found out last year was what the lottery really was intending to do with that approval.
Many of the Council members fought late last year to have the law authorizing Internet gaming repealed. On Tuesday, the Council voted on the issue, and overwhelmingly. the law was repealed. The Council voted 10-2 in favor of the repeal, and several members commented afterwards of how they were tricked into voting for the law in 2009.
"They didn't even use the word Internet gambling," said Council member Tommy Wells. "They used the word I-gambling...we voted as a city, and decided as a city, that we didn't want slots." Wells went on to say how the city's residents should have a say in whether or not online gambling is regulated, and to date, the residents have not weighed in.
The DC Lottery was poised to become the first in the nation to run an online casino. The software had all been set up, and a September launch last year was scheduled. The first month, gamblers were going to be able to play casino games for free online, with real money play scheduled to start in October. As those dates drew closer, Council members began to debate whether or not the law should have been on the books in the first place.
With DC now out of the Internet gambling game, Nevada is the front-runner to have the first online casinos. Nevada has already started the licensing process, accepting applications from companies interest in running online casinos for Nevada residents. Nevada may have online casinos operational by the end of the year.
February 8, 2012
Posted By Terry Goodwin
Staff Editor, CasinoGamblingWeb.com
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