District of Columbia Moves Forward with Online Gambling

District of Columbia Moves Forward with Online Gambling

Posted on 05/07/11 - by Theodor Mavrodis News

The District of Columbia was the first in the US to pass laws to make online gambling a reality and is moving forward with plans for its own online casino.

Washington D.C. has been synonymous in recent years with laws and regulations preventing US citizens from playing at online casino and poker sites, but the District of Columbia has become the first area of the US to pass laws to allow intra-state online gambling sites for residents.

Laws such as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) passed in 2006 have tried to prevent US citizens from gambling online but many states in 2011 have moved to take advantage of one of the provisions of the UIGEA which lets individual states run online sites for their residents.

Washington D.C. was the first to approve online gambling measures and is serving as a barometer for states in the US looking to follow in its footsteps.

Some are considering solely online poker sites but the District of Columbia is moving forward with plans for both poker and online casino offerings.

The D.C. lottery agency is leading the effort for establishing the online casino and has announced its preliminary plan, which includes using a government-owned telecommunications network to power the site.

Players will have to be 19 years or older and weekly deposit limits will be $250. Its online casino games will shut down each day from 4 AM to 10 AM, and other safeguards may be put into place for responsible gaming.

If successful, other states may pass their own measures to once again give residents easy access to slots, blackjack, craps, and other casino games, as well as online poker cash games and tournaments. 

Anti-gambling sentiment is still strong in many areas but struggling state budgets have trumped moral concerns in many regions, with hundreds of millions of dollars in extra tax revenues potentially up for grabs.