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D.C. Council poised to repeal online gambling

Online GamblingOnline Gambling: D.C. Council poised to repeal online gambling

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After becoming the first jurisdiction in the nation to legalize online gambling within its borders, the District of Columbia is poised to repeal the program before it launches.

The strong backlash on the D.C. Council to the district's online gambling program has little to do with moral opposition to gambling. Instead, councilmembers are upset with the way it became law, saying they didn't realize they had voted to approve it.

Councilmember Jack Evans told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he plans to move a repeal bill out of his finance and revenue committee on Wednesday. Evans also said he would vote for the repeal bill when it goes before the full council, and the bill appears to have the support of a majority of councilmembers.

Evans, a Ward 2 Democrat, said neither the council nor the public was given enough opportunity to weigh in on the program before it became law. He also said he was troubled by a report from the district's Inspector General that raised questions about changes to the district's contract with its lottery vendor that paved the way for online gambling.

"We just need to start over," he said, adding that he had no plans to introduce a bill.

The program would have allowed people using computers inside the district to play online poker, blackjack and other games of skill and chance. Players would have to be at least 19 years old and would be barred from wagering more than $250 a week.

A Justice Department ruling in December clarified that intrastate online gambling is legal, and several states are considering it, but so far the district and Nevada are the only jurisdictions to approve laws or regulations authorizing it. Nevada officials hope to begin offering online poker by year's end.

In the district, online gambling became law outside the normal legislative process.

The program would have been run by the D.C. Lottery and its Greece-based vendor, Intralot. But when the council approved Intralot's $39 million contract in 2009, the contract did not specify that Intralot would be able to bring online gambling to the district. Instead, it only included language about "nontraditional games."

The contract was later amended to specify that Intralot could implement an online gambling system. Then, in late 2010, Councilmember Michael A. Brown inserted language in a supplemental budget bill that legalized online gambling in the district. It became law last April when Congress declined to intervene.

Several councilmembers have since said they did not realize they were authorizing online gambling as part of the budget bill, and Councilmember David Catania has threatened to sue the district's chief financial officer for altering the lottery contract without council approval.

The council took testimony from the public only after the gambling program became law, and lottery officials held a series of community meetings last fall for people to express their concerns. Civic activists have raised concerns about the security of the software and the broad discretion given to the lottery agency and CFO Natwar Gandhi to run the program.

Evans said Tuesday that competitive bidding would need to be part of any future effort to legalize online gambling in order to ensure that the district, not Intralot, would be the chief beneficiary of the program.

Catania and Councilmember Muriel Bowser, who are on the Finance and Revenue Committee that's chaired by Evans, also intend to vote for repeal. The two other committee members, Brown and Marion Barry, want to see the program go forward.

Brown has pushed online gambling as a source of needed revenue and said it would protect Internet poker players who currently use illegal offshore sites. He said last week that the district would experience "a little bonanza" from becoming the first government to launch an online gambling program.

In addition to Evans, Bowser and Catania, at least three other members of the 12-person council support repeal: Jim Graham, Phil Mendelson and Tommy Wells, who introduced the bill. Council Chairman Kwame Brown has not taken a position on repeal but has said numerous times that he opposes all gambling.

Mayor Vincent Gray also wants to see online gambling repealed, said his spokesman, Pedro Ribeiro.

"It's become such a divisive issue. It's not critical to the fiscal needs of the city," Ribeiro said. "It's just better to stop this, take a few steps back, take a deep breath and figure out where to go from here."

AP

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17 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by psykomo.
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JAP69's avatar - Lottery-053.jpg
South Carolina
United States
Member #6
November 4, 2001
8500 Posts
Offline
Posted: February 1, 2012, 8:41 am - IP Logged

Several councilmembers have since said they did not realize they were authorizing online gambling as part of the budget bill

_________________________________

There are too many bills passed or voted down in all levels of gov't as they do not take the time to fully read a bill and fully debate it. It is pathetic that we have this nonsense occur in gov't

Stats hunting: Type

    dpoly1's avatar - driver
    PA
    United States
    Member #66141
    October 16, 2008
    1444 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: February 1, 2012, 9:18 am - IP Logged

    And they want to be the 51st State ...................... Stooges

      Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
      S.E.Iowa
      United States
      Member #120509
      December 21, 2011
      534 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: February 1, 2012, 10:13 am - IP Logged

      Several councilmembers have since said they did not realize they were authorizing online gambling as part of the budget bill

      _________________________________

      There are too many bills passed or voted down in all levels of gov't as they do not take the time to fully read a bill and fully debate it. It is pathetic that we have this nonsense occur in gov't

      The council members are just preparing to run for higher office.They need to practice being stupid before taking the plunge.

      When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

      There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

        Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
        Clarksville
        United States
        Member #487
        July 15, 2002
        17638 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 1, 2012, 11:11 am - IP Logged

        No, they don't want to miss the opportunity to get their "ticket" punched.  If it turns out to be a good thing, they want part of it and if they have "friends", they might want to shift some those contract dollars to their friends.  I just don't know how the council members didn't know what they were voting for..must have been in a foreign  language like English.

        If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

        You never know when you will get another hit.

          JAP69's avatar - Lottery-053.jpg
          South Carolina
          United States
          Member #6
          November 4, 2001
          8500 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: February 1, 2012, 11:45 am - IP Logged

          Yep,

          It is a laugh every day with the stupidity of some politicians. ROFL

          Stats hunting: Type


            Bahamas
            Member #114689
            August 5, 2011
            422 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 1, 2012, 3:21 pm - IP Logged

            D.C. Council meet Hooked on Phonics

             

            Hooked on Phonics meet D.C. Council

            "Freedom of Speech? Keep reading and you will discover that freedom comes at a price!"

              Avatar
              Seattle, Washington
              United States
              Member #121158
              January 3, 2012
              87 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: February 1, 2012, 5:45 pm - IP Logged

              They didn't know they were voting for online gambling as part of the budget?  It makes me wonder if these politicians are lazy, incompetent or just STUPID.  More than likely, they voted for online gambling (due to wanting more revenue for the area, or they were paid off to do so), and got handed their butts in public outrage against it, so they're scrambling to save face.  I say toss the lot of them out and "start again"...

                Avatar
                Las Vegas
                United States
                Member #119217
                November 17, 2011
                16 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: February 1, 2012, 7:45 pm - IP Logged

                They didn't know they were voting for online gambling as part of the budget?  It makes me wonder if these politicians are lazy, incompetent or just STUPID.  More than likely, they voted for online gambling (due to wanting more revenue for the area, or they were paid off to do so), and got handed their butts in public outrage against it, so they're scrambling to save face.  I say toss the lot of them out and "start again"...

                 It makes me wonder if these politicians are lazy, incompetent or just STUPID. 

                Why do we have to choose -- I vote for all three!!!!

                  Avatar

                  United States
                  Member #122329
                  January 29, 2012
                  61 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: February 2, 2012, 7:13 am - IP Logged

                  As long as I can start playing poker online again I don't care what they do.

                    Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
                    Indiana
                    United States
                    Member #48725
                    January 7, 2007
                    1841 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: February 2, 2012, 12:00 pm - IP Logged

                    They voted for something they didn't know they was voting for?Bash

                    Gonna win.Big Smile

                      rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                      -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
                      Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                      United States
                      Member #73904
                      April 28, 2009
                      14903 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: February 2, 2012, 2:17 pm - IP Logged

                      They voted for something they didn't know they was voting for?Bash

                      They took Democrat Nancy Pelosi's advice and Democrat Harry Reid's advice literally. With Obamacare and all the bailouts of the banks and Wall Street and the Stimulus Bills they said it was an emergency and there was no time to read it.

                      Pelosi said "We have to pass the bill to see what's in it."

                      Sounds perfectly reasonable, doesn't it?


                                                                   
                                           
                                                               

                       

                       

                       

                       

                                                                                                                         

                      "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                                  --Edmund Burke

                       

                       

                        NightStalker's avatar - IMG00073 20100720-1609_2.jpg
                        Nothing Good Happens After Midnight
                        East of Columbus, OH
                        United States
                        Member #120848
                        December 28, 2011
                        415 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: February 2, 2012, 2:33 pm - IP Logged

                        What's even more amazing is the fact that Marion Barry has a felony drug conviction and is able to hold a public office.  He can't even vote, but somehow he can hold office?!?!  WTF!?!?Cussing Face

                        Life's Too Short To Be Unhappy Cool

                          rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                          -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
                          Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                          United States
                          Member #73904
                          April 28, 2009
                          14903 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: February 2, 2012, 2:51 pm - IP Logged

                          What's even more amazing is the fact that Marion Barry has a felony drug conviction and is able to hold a public office.  He can't even vote, but somehow he can hold office?!?!  WTF!?!?Cussing Face

                          They don't care what he does as long as he keeps up the struggle for free stuff.


                                                                       
                                               
                                                                   

                           

                           

                           

                           

                                                                                                                             

                          "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                                      --Edmund Burke

                           

                           


                            United States
                            Member #5565
                            July 11, 2004
                            260 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: February 4, 2012, 7:41 pm - IP Logged

                            Maryland Lottery appears to be the first state to put up an online lottery ticket purchase capability.  They're expected to be uip within 12 months and budgeted for the web site upgrade in FY2013.  Many states start their fiscal calendar on July 1.

                             

                            http://baltimore.citybizlist.com/1/2012/2/1/Online-Lottery-Ticket-Sales-Expected-To-Start-Next-Year-Boost-Sales.aspx