Legal Online Poker in D.C.

30 August 2011

Maybe the U.S. Government is on an island of its own. Though they are standing strong against online gambling (so far), the people around them are now getting ready to “Shuffle up and deal!” The District of Columbia is moving forward with its plan to allow online poker within the next week or so.

This plan will allow 20 or 30 districts to offer legalized online poker within the city limits. The only areas offering online poker will be in hotels and bars. The city will get its cut by taking 50% of the rake and taxes player’s winnings which total over $600.

There are a lot of problems with this plan like the government monopoly run system and with no option for poker players to play elsewhere. There have already been claims of corruption by former Chief Procurement Officer David P. Gragan and former Attorney General Peter J. Nickles who called for a review of Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi’s oversight of the lottery that so far have fallen on deaf ears.

Some however, like Phil Hellmuth, say this trail run of legalized online poker isn’t big enough. It is estimated that 600,000 players will have the opportunity to play in D.C. and Phil believes this is too small a sample to get a real look into what the poker world has to offer.

Either way, it looks like in September; at least some U.S. online poker players will be legally sitting at virtual poker tables. This is a start and hopefully will cause a big enough to stir other states and or federal legislators to see it can work.

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