Washington DC Gaming Proposals
Irvin B. Nathan says the bill is okay and lawful.
This past Wednesday’s hearing the Washington DC Council’s Committee on Finance and Revenue, the DAG (District’s Attorney General) Irvin B.
Nathan stated that legalizing intrastate internet gambling in Washington DC is perfectly legal and in agreement with the state’s federal laws, therefore it remains on track for its launch date on September the 8th. Councillor Brown defended the measure as well, he said: “Perhaps some people have not seen the budget,” adding that additional income would be generated for the District.
Committee chairman Jack Evans had his reservations by including this legalizing measure in a budget bill, he said, “To be honest we were not even aware of its inclusion,” and also added, “The bill was supposed to be included into a supplemental budget in December 2010, devoid of any hearing or prior notice.” Given that the District could be the first jurisdiction in the United States to legalize internet gambling he further said, “If we follow this route by legalizing internet casinos we must get it 100 percent right from the word go.” He added, “Nothing is guaranteed. Any piece of legislation that is passed can be annulled.”
Buddy Roogow DC’s executive director of the D.C Lottery said that his office implemented the necessary procedures ahead of its introduction of 6 games in July and August, and that real bets would be placed on the 8 September. Players can deposit $250 per week by making use of their debit cards.
By means of a secure log-in the lottery will authenticate the age and IP address of all players, and an agreement will be in place where players with gambling problems will be able to bar themselves. He added target areas will include hotel rooms, businesses offering wireless Internet of Wi-Fi and signal for I-Gaming under a lottery-approved IP address. Players will not be able to gamble between 4 and 10 a.m, and Internet connections at private homes would be installed on condition there’s no technological mishaps.
D.C’s Mayor Vincent C. Gray, said he’s more concerned with how internet gambling is going to be regulated and implemented, particularly how the D.C. Lottery would police players making sure that they reside within the parameters of the District. Natwar M. Gandhi, D.C. Financial Officer is optimistic estimating that internet gambling would yield approximately $13 million within the next four years. He also said, “The good news is that the council already okay-ed this particular act. It’s within the state’s law that’s why we’re doing it now.”
On the other side of the internet gambling coin, the activist group Citizens against D.C. Government Operated sites postulate that officials are using “unsubstantiated figures”. This organization also stated that poor residents would be severely affected by gambling. Chairman Evans sided with them, noting that the total annual deposit amount should be no more than $13 000: “By all means thirteen-thousand dollars is hefty sum of cash to most people. To put it blunt, this government has enough funds, and it pains me to see that it’s prepared to take money from people who don’t have it. This is one of the main pitfalls of gambling.”
The internet platform was developed by Intralot, District’s Greece-based lottery contractor for D.C. They said that recreational players are their main target market, and not professional players who wager huge amounts of cash. The minimum age requirement for players would be 19 or older and players must stay within the city’s 61 square mile boundaries. D.C. Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board will receive half of the tax revenue.[addtoany]