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DC Council Members Getting Cold Feet Over Online Poker Operation

Lawmakers in Washington D.C. have been slow to come around to the idea of online gambling regulations for the US as a whole. On a city level, however, it appeared earlier this year that the Washington D.C. City Council was prepared to sign off on the notion of online gambling.

A law written in last year allowed for the D.C. Lottery to launch an online poker site if a deadline passed to object to such a plan. That deadline passed several months ago, and the Lottery started preparing for the prospects of becoming the first jurisdiction in the US to regulate online gambling.

When word got out about the plan, the conservative groups immediately set up their picket lines. The groups maintained that there should be public hearings on the subject, and the Council agreed. Several public forums were set up for residents and business leaders to come out and offer their opinions on the issue.

Even with the public hearings, the Lottery expected to have their site up and running by September, with gamblers being allowed to enjoy free play and get used to the system. That plan has been delayed, and now legislators are calling into question the law that allows the Internet gambling.

Ward 2 Democrat Jack Evans, Ward 6 Democrat Tommy Wells, and Ward 4 Democrat Muriel Browser, have called into question the legality of the law that was created last year. At the center of the debate is the idea that the public did not participate in the discussion when it came to the original law.

Browser has plenty of support, and with residents feeling like they were left out of the process, it is likely that even those that support online gambling would be hesitant to adopt a law in which they had no input. The process now appears headed towards the court system.

Nevada has already passed online gambling legislation, but the law states that Nevada cannot move forward with Internet gambling until federal laws are changed or clarified. Washington D.C. is not concerned with federal law, although it now appears as though their online gambling legislation will be challenged at a state level.

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