Washington Repeals Gambling Bill
The internet gambling saga in Washington DC has been placed on ice since for now since the city council voted to repeal the law for its regulations earlier this week. Ten members voted for the repeal while two members voted against it.
This law was passed more than a year ago but its implementation was delayed without any particular reason. Washington DC like New Jersey came within a hair’s breadth of becoming the first jurisdiction to have legalized internet gambling in the United States, unfortunately neither succeeded to date.
Senator Michael Brown Says No
Councillor Michael Brown who sponsored the bill tried his utmost to prevent the bill’s repeal. He even tried to submit a compromise bill. Mayor Vincent C. Gray who also supported the bill, said that he would support a re-bid of the entire contract if the council does not repeal the bill. Neither Brown nor Gray could convince the Councillors.
Councillor Jack Evans, chairman of the city’s Revenue and Finance Committee said that the lottery contract would be investigated. Council member Tommy Wells who co-sponsored the repeal bill with Evans, said, “I certainly have a lot of questions about the process of selecting the partner in the lottery contract, and that’s a conversation I will be having with Mr. Evans.” Matter of fact, political observers state that the real issue is not about internet gambling law but how the controversial lottery contract worth $38 million was issued.
In his report D.C. Inspector General Charles J. Willoughby frowned upon this, he’s said that the city’s lottery contract with the Greek company Intralot, non-traditional games were later changed to Internet gambling without the Councillors knowledge. The Inspector General also stated that businessman Emmanuel S. Bailey who is Intralot’s local partner, misrepresented his company’s business activities during its bid for a stake in the lottery contract.
Councillor Brown pointed out that the public was in favor of internet gambling since a series of community meetings was held by the DC Lottery late last year. As a result, the manner in which the state lottery contract has been awarded should have been addressed separately. Some politicians who voted for the repeal of the law but favored online gambling said that the process is tainted and should start all over again.
Bryan Boothe representative of Intralot had the following to say about the repeal vote, “Intralot is disappointed in the council vote today. We look forward to assisting the D.C. Lottery as they move forward in exploring their space in today’s ever-changing gaming world.”[addtoany]