Online Poker in Washington D.C.

11 April 2011

It seems like every month another state takes a run at online gambling regulation. Lately it seems online poker had been the main subject of talks. Washington DC is now looking for a way to legalize online poker within its district borders. The D.C. Council already passed a proposal last December that allows the D.C. Lottery to offer “games of skill and games of chance” online.

So now we are looking at Thursday as the next big date for this proposal to take effect. Thursday is the last day Congress has to raise any objections or flex its muscle in city affairs. Some already have stated their opinion, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah has already gone on record when the budget first passed saying he was “absolutely, totally opposed”.

According to Michael Brown, D.C. city councilman, “I figured that online poker was already happening here, and we just want to capture some of those revenue dollars. Every little bit helps.” This is a familiar sentiment among local lawmakers trying to capture some of the billion dollar online industry for their particular areas.

In Washington D.C. they estimate legalized online poker could generate $13 million over three years and the D.C. lottery would like to have online poker system running and testing in selected spots by the end of the year. According to Buddy Roogow, executive director of D.C. Lottery who has seen lottery sales in D.C. decline for 4 straight years,

“It’s not the whole future, but it’s a very important part of it, if lotteries intend to continue to grow. States need the revenue. And whether it’s the lottery or someone else, [online gambling is] going to be available anyway.”

Sounds like a familiar tune, echoed across the United States. As of yet though, no one had been able to finished the song and regulate online gambling on a state level.

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