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Poker Legislation Passes in Washington DC


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The DC Lottery logoIn 2010, the city council of Washington DC approved a budget that would see the DC lottery responsible for operating a website that would only be accessible within its boundaries. The Congress was given adequate time for debating the bill but due to the budget and a number of other matters, it missed out on the expiry date set for Thursday, allowing the law to go into effect.

When this happens, Washington DC will become the first jurisdiction in the United State to provide intrastate poker online. This was based on the fact that the state lotteries future will be ensured- an aspect that is absolutely necessary, especially after the declining numbers of the lottery sales. In DC, the lottery sales has been declining for four years and the Lottery’s Executive Director, Buddy Roogow believes that allowing the lottery to operate the online poker website is the only way to secure a future. He stated that the lotteries have the intention of continuous growth and the state needs the revenue, making online gambling an available option.

The DC city councilman, Michael Brown as well as a number of local lawmakers supported the sentiment that online poker was already happening and they saw it as an opportunity in which they can capture a few dollars from the industry and use it in their particular areas. The estimated revenue of online gambling in Washington DC is set at $13 million over a period of three years. The DC lottery is set to have the system up and running and have it tested in variety of spots by the end of the year.

With the prospect of an intrastate online gambling website, there are a number of hurdles that will be encountered. Some of them include outlining the terms of play so that they conform to the various federal laws on the matter. It will also call for the changes in various aspects of the lottery including the definition as well as the regulations of the administration on online gambling. The regulation will need to be drafted as well as passed through the public comment period.

When the Bill passes, Washington DC will be ahead of states such as Nevada and New Jersey among others which are still debating on the legislation of the State-level laws. In Nevada, the bill was introduced by the Assemblyman William Horne, who chairs the Judiciary Committee that would allow the citizens of Nevada to engage in Intrastate online gambling. However, the Governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval is against the state level laws, instead he supports the federal passing of the bill. In his argument he stated that he does not want Nevada to be in contravention with the federal laws on the Matter. If passed, the bill require the Nevada gaming commission to adopt different regulations that allow for internet poker and it will allow casinos to operate games via hand held and wireless devices. The state of New Jersey on the other hand, is still working on the intrastate online gambling bill after Gov. Chris Christie vetoed on it.