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'Hot spots' part of D.C. officials' plan to allow Internet-based gambling in city

Online GamblingOnline Gambling: 'Hot spots' part of D.C. officials' plan to allow Internet-based gambling in city

WASHINGTON, D.C. — D.C. officials said they are planning to set up 20 to 30 online gambling "hot spots" in hotels, bars, clubs and other venues across the city by around Sept. 1, marking a major step in a bid to turn the nation's capital into a haven for Texas hold 'em and other potentially lucrative Internet-based games.

By the end of the year — if Congress doesn't revisit the issue, and if the technology works as promised — adults in the District wouldn't even need to go such places to gamble. Instead, they would be able to key in their payment details on their home laptops to play a virtual hand or two of city-sanctioned poker.

The unprecedented wager has city officials facing difficult questions, including how much money the venture would make and whether it would even be legal.

D.C. Council Member Michael A. Brown (I-At Large) proposed the plan in December as a way for the city to generate revenue. The measure passed as part of the 2011 budget, and Mayor Vincent C. Gray signed it into law in January. Last week, a 30-day period for Congress to object to the plan ended, setting the stage for the city to move forward.

But the recent deal to avert a federal government shutdown — which revived a provision that would bar city money from being used to pay for abortion — shows the potentially perilous path for any local initiative that draws strong opposition in Congress.

Even after the review period, Congress can intervene, said Frederick Hill, spokesman for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which covers District affairs. "If the committee has a concern that a practice is either illegal or not in the interests of the federal taxpayers who support the District of Columbia, the committee could certainly raise a concern."

Hill said, however, that the panel has no plans to introduce legislation or hold a hearing on the matter.

Brown insists that the District is on firm legal ground, but D.C.'s chief financial officer said in an analysis of the program that "no consensus exists" on whether federal statutes would prevent D.C. from implementing the program.

"We are trying to do as much innovative stuff as possible to increase revenue," Brown said. "We have competition around the region on gaming, so we had to do something. Also, the online, offshore poker companies are already here. "

The gambling program could generate $13.1 million between the 2012 and 2014 fiscal years, according to the chief financial officer's analysis.

Money would be collected from table fees to join the poker games and from taxes on winnings of $600 or more, D.C. Lottery officials said. The city has signed a 50-50 revenue-sharing agreement with Intralot USA, which would develop and manage D.C.'s gambling site.

Gray called Brown's effort "innovative."

"We know that many of our residents are currently engaged in online gaming, but are doing so with off-shore companies," the mayor said in a statement. "Our goal is simply to regulate the business in the District and to ensure that the District receives its fair share of the financial benefits produced by online gaming."

A no-stakes gambling Web site would be rolled out by about July 1.

Patrons would be able to play for money at dozens of hot spots by around Sept. 1, said Buddy Roogow, executive director of the D.C. Lottery.

He said he hopes the Convention Center would be one of the places. Officials are still writing the rules for choosing venues.

"That would be an ideal kind of location for a hot spot. So are hotels. There's only one Convention Center. There are many hotels," Roogow said. Gamblers would need to bring their own computers to place bets.

Before gambling for money can spread to people's homes, officials would need to ensure that betting was available only within the geographic limits of the District. They expect to do that by the end of the year.

There has been some local opposition to the idea of online gambling.

"Gambling and lotteries have always been quick fixes for city coffers but fail to provide real economic development," said Terry Lynch, executive director of the Downtown Cluster of Congregations. "The plan has as many downsides as upsides."

Lynch fears that virtual poker could lead to a rise in gambling addiction in the city.

Brown said he wasn't sure whether there would be a way for city residents to provide input on hot-spot locations.

"It's part of living in a tight, dense city," he said.

Roogow said the hot spots would be in commercial locations with easy access for tourists and commuters. They wouldn't be in places "that are easily accessible to houses of worship" or schools, he added.

Washington Post

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7 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by trap574.
Page 1 of 1
rdgrnr's avatar - walt
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
United States
Member #73904
April 28, 2009
14903 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 14, 2011, 12:04 pm - IP Logged

Here come the do-gooders with their wet blankets and dire warnings of doom and gloom about gambling freedom that are always wrong.

Reminds me of the lib gun haters who always warn of wild shootouts in the streets and rampant crime and murder if guns are allowed and it always turns out to be the opposite of what they say. Violent crime and murder are always lower  in  areas  where guns are allowed.

It just goes to show - never believe the do-gooders.


                                             
                     
                                         

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                   

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

                                                                                            --Edmund Burke

 

 

    ressuccess's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg

    United States
    Member #93164
    June 23, 2010
    1313 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: April 14, 2011, 3:05 pm - IP Logged

    I hope it passes.

      maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
      Massachusetts
      United States
      Member #37433
      April 14, 2006
      2747 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: April 14, 2011, 6:15 pm - IP Logged

      we might as well, I mean we seem to do most everything nowadays on the intermet

      That money's gone fo ever

        rdgrnr's avatar - walt
        Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
        United States
        Member #73904
        April 28, 2009
        14903 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: April 14, 2011, 9:26 pm - IP Logged

        we might as well, I mean we seem to do most everything nowadays on the intermet

        Dam right we should.

        And we shouldn't have to be begging for permission from the lunkheads in Washington.

        They seem to forget that they're there to represent us, not rule us.

        This stuff done got out of hand a long time ago.


                                                     
                             
                                                 

         

         

         

         

                                                                                                           

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

                                                                                                    --Edmund Burke

         

         


          United States
          Member #68713
          December 28, 2008
          301 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: April 16, 2011, 6:24 pm - IP Logged

          Here come the do-gooders with their wet blankets and dire warnings of doom and gloom about gambling freedom that are always wrong.

          Reminds me of the lib gun haters who always warn of wild shootouts in the streets and rampant crime and murder if guns are allowed and it always turns out to be the opposite of what they say. Violent crime and murder are always lower  in  areas  where guns are allowed.

          It just goes to show - never believe the do-gooders.

          Ok ,   rdgrnr what are you talking about Do-gooders, what are we suppose to follow  the Bad doers with our dry blankets. No No No excuse!  I am all for online gambling.Hyper

            rdgrnr's avatar - walt
            Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
            United States
            Member #73904
            April 28, 2009
            14903 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: April 16, 2011, 11:48 pm - IP Logged

            Ok ,   rdgrnr what are you talking about Do-gooders, what are we suppose to follow  the Bad doers with our dry blankets. No No No excuse!  I am all for online gambling.Hyper

            Re-read my post Louise, I'm on your side. I'm for online play too.

            But it's too late now.

            You've already hurt my feelings. SadSad WaveySad


                                                         
                                 
                                                     

             

             

             

             

                                                                                                               

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

                                                                                                        --Edmund Burke

             

             

              trap574's avatar - Lottery-063.jpg
              Adk NY
              United States
              Member #108847
              April 1, 2011
              1619 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: April 17, 2011, 9:19 am - IP Logged

              Dam right we should.

              And we shouldn't have to be begging for permission from the lunkheads in Washington.

              They seem to forget that they're there to represent us, not rule us.

              This stuff done got out of hand a long time ago.

                 YEAH it has,indite some of the biggest poker room online sites,then try to get HOTSPOTS in DC!!   WTF Politics at its finest