Washington DC Targeting Casual Gamblers With Online Casinos
Washington DC moved a step closer on Thursday to becoming the first jurisdiction in the US to offer regulated online gambling. The DC Lottery told a committee that they could have the online casino up and running within a month, if they received the approval of the city council.
That approval may not come as fast as the lottery would like. Council-member Jack Evans decided not to give the blessing, instead buying time to decide whether or not the committee will consider a repeal bill that was introduced last year. Two of the twelve members of the council are against the online casino.
The lottery also is aware of the possible public outrage over the casino. Buddy Roogow, the executive director of the DC Lottery, told the committee Thursday that the lottery will not offer online slot machines. Roogow reasoned that DC voters have several times shot down slot bills, and the lottery wants to honor those votes.
Instead of the slots, the lottery will offer blackjack, poker, and other table games. The limits will be tight on gamblers, with a maximum of $250 permitted to be lost on a given week. That figure is much lower than most casinos have put in place for gamblers around the country. The age limit to gamble online in DC is set at 19.
"I like the idea that they are placing betting limits on us," said Frank Barrone, a DC resident. "Some people could develop an addiction, and with that type of limit ($250), it protects people from themselves. We can still have the fun of playing poker and blackjack for real money, without worrying that we may lose our paychecks."
Washington DC is in a race with Nevada and New Jersey to see which area opens online casinos first. Nevada already has a law on the books from last year that allows online gambling, but the state is waiting for federal laws to change before launching their online casinos. A Department of Justice opinion late last year could speed up the process, with the DoJ announcing that they no longer believe that all forms of online gambling are illegal under the 1961 Wire Act.
January 27, 2012
Posted By April Gardner
Staff Editor, CasinoGamblingWeb.com
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