United States gambling news reports have announced that the argument for the legalization of online gambling in Washington is over, with the vote swinging 10-2 against legalization.
Only last year, the District of Columbia was in line to be the first to offer online gaming in the United States by promising tax revenue from poker, blackjack and bingo in the form of online casinos with their state of the art program iGaming.
Now however, the iGaming program has fell flat on its face, with the Council of the District of Columbia voting against it, after stating that the program has never been given sufficient public comments, and that the process was possibly corrupted.
The collapse of the bid hasn’t only had repercussions on the online gaming scenario though, with many city officials’ integrity now brought into question. The move, although aimed at legalizing online gambling has backfired on leading city officials as it has revealed a multitude of shady dealings and pay and play partnerships. The cloudy mask covering the dealings has in effect been removed by the rejection.
As retired Federal attorney and civic activist Ann Loikow, put it…
“If you’ve been around long enough, you look at some things and they just smell. There’s just enough stuff that’s not right, and this is that case — on steroids.”
Despite the i-Gaming program being approved in 2010, along with an overhaul of the lottery laws, it is felt that nobody at any time had mentioned internet betting being on the agenda. A few months following the decision, the turmoil started as opponents to the project, such as Stop D.C. Gaming, felt that online gambling had been slipped into the discussions and the bid, unnoticed.
Michael A. Brown, a Council supporter of the program, feels that the program has been let down by the vote, and that the allegations of internet gambling being slipped in are nonsense. “All the Council rules were followed. Nothing was done incorrectly or improperly. That’s just an excuse, and that’s just a copout,” he commented.
Mr. Brown feels as though the city will lose tens of millions of dollars now in potential revenue, at a time when a lot of US states are currently considering revising the current American gambling laws, to include legalizing online gambling. Washington’s own estimate of the revenue lost however is somewhat less, at $13 million, spread over several years.
The move to repeal the legalization of online gambling may come as a shock the iGaming program, though in other parts of the United States, anti-gaming lobbies may be looking on with some kind of reaffirmed belief that similar outcomes, could occur in their regions too.