Online Gambling in Washington DC Possibly Headed Back to Square One

Published Wednesday, February 01, 2012 -
Online Gambling in Washington DC Possibly Headed Back to Square One
By as early as Wednesday, the District of Columbia Council finance committee could vote out a bill which would then repeal online gambling in Washington D.C. Before it even launches, Online gambling in the Washington District may be headed back to square one.
Since there were no public hearings when the original provision was passed into city law just a year ago, the law has provoked anger and an explosion of criticisms. Members of the public weighed in after the gambling program became law expressing their concerns. Lottery officials held a series of community meetings last fall to give people a chance to air their complaints.
As for Councilors, the objections have been not so much about online gambling, but by how the procedure was handled. Council members are saying that they didn’t even realize that they had vote for approval.
Council member for Ward 2, Jack Evans (Democrat), told The Associated Press that he plans to move for an appeal of the bill when it goes before the Finance and Revenue Committee. By the time it reaches a vote at the next Full Council meeting it appears, it might be supported by a majority.
The program would have been run by D.C. Lottery and its Greece-based vendor, Intralot. However when, the council approved Intralot's $39 million contract in 2009, nowhere did it name Intralot as the company to bring online gambling to the district. The contract was later amended to specify that Intralot could implement an online gambling system. Some are complaining that Intralot gets 50 percent of online revenues, far more than it does with the city’s other gambling games.
Evans has stated recently that competitive bidding should be part of the process of any future effort to legalize online gambling adding that, "We just need to start over."

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