Washington DC is a step closer to becoming the first state of the US to regulate online gambling as submitted on Thursday. The DC Lottery stated that they could get online casinos up and running only within a month provided that they have received the approval of the city council and their first action was to ensure that they will offer regulated online gambling.
However, the lottery’s wish may not come as quick as they hoped it to be. Council-member Jack Evans decided not to give the blessing. Instead, he bought time to decide whether or not the committee should repeal the bill that legalizes online gambling that was introduced last year. Two out of the twelve members of the council have refused to support the online casino. With the current progress of the bill however, it may be difficult to place repeals but it is not entirely impossible.
Buddy Roogow, the executive director of the DC lottery is aware of the possible public outrage over the casino. DC voters have shut down slot bills several times through protests and Roogow would like to honor those votes by not having online slot machines.
He told the committee this intention last Thursday that instead of having the slots, the lottery will offer poker, blackjack and other table games. They will also limit the games of players by making a player to have only a maximum of $250 losses in total on a given week. This figure is said to be much lower that what most casinos require their players around the country. There is also a set age limit to gamble online in DC, strictly at 19 years of age.
“I like the idea that they are placing betting limits on us,” said Frank Barrone, a DC resident. “Some people could develop an addiction, and with that type of limit ($250), it protects people from themselves. We can still have the fun of playing poker and blackjack for real money, without worrying that we may lose our paychecks.”
Despite the non-support of two of the council members, Washington DC is moving forward to make the progress of online gambling fast. Reports said that DC is racing with Nevada and New Jersey to see which of them would open online casinos first. Nevada already has laws from last year regarding online gambling but of course they couldn’t go on without a formal law given. The state is still waiting for federal laws to change before launching their online casinos which is safe to say, already in the making since the bill.
This could be sped up due to the fact that the Department of Justice announced that they no longer believe that all forms of online gambling are illegal under the 1961 Wire Act. However, gambling companies must wait for a formal go signal.
[Source: Casino Gambling Web]