Thursday, February 2, 2012

DC Council Votes on Repealing iGaming (Updated with Votes)

On January 26, the DC Council's Committee on Finance and Revenue held a hearing to review the iGaming repeal legislation proposed by two members outside of the Committee - Tommy Wells & Phil Mendelson.  It was broken up into two segments - Morning and Evening. 

A video of the morning session with Government witnesses is here.

The evening session featured a number of our excellent friends and can be seen HERE; with timeline tags.
  • Eric Prag: 15:25;
  • Allison Hazen: 25:55;
  • Richard Meyer: 33:35
  • A number of our other friends spoke later in the evening session.
Thank you very much for voicing your support for our right to play poker online and in a safe, regulated environment!  If you see any of these patriots around - Buy them a drink!
A tally of hearing testifiers put the numbers FOR iGaming around 70% of those who spoke at the hearing, which tracked well with the DC Lottery's recent public opinion report on iGaming, which stated 68% were FOR iGaming at the 8 city-wide community meetings.
UNFORTUNATELY, a few days later, Chairman Evans decided to put the repeal legislation to a vote.  Largely citing the contracting process as a reason (NOT online gaming in general), 3 members out of the 5 member panel voted to report the repeal legislation (which would eliminate iGaming from DC law) out of the Committee to the Full Committee for a vote. 
The full council vote on this legislation is scheduled for next week.  Updates to come. 

***UPDATE: The Full Committee did, in fact, repeal the iGaming legislation the following week - Here are the articles following the votes.

This is a setback in our efforts to see online poker and other games legalized and available to us to enjoy.  It seems as though, as Councilman Brown stated, "this council is going against the will of the people," that iGaming may be delayed even further as countless other states take action on implementing iGaming in their jurisdictions.
Again, thank you Allison, Richard and everyone else who took time out of their busy schedules to voice your support for online poker!  As has been the case for the last several years, there will be more work to do before we can have a safe and regulated place to play.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

DoJ allows for Internet Poker? & A City Council Hearing - Thurs. January 26!

Well, Well...  There's been a lot going on in the Online Poker/Gaming world since the DC Lottery concluded its 8 community hearings gathering citizen input on their plans to move forward with offering online poker and other games. 

Here are two notable developments and a Call to Action!

1) The Department of Justice delivered this memorandum opinion (responding to an inquiry from the New York and Illinois lotteries) on whether or not it is legal under the Wire Act of 1961 to offer their services (Lottery tickets, etc.) over the internet in addition to conventional offerings - over the counter tickets or at in-person convenience store terminals, etc. 

     In a nutshell, the legal opinion's interpretation clears the way for states to offer non-sports gambling over the internet to residents within their respective borders... 

     What does this mean for online poker/gaming? 

     Well finally, a State (whether through their state lottery or another service) now has 
a legal precedent to point to allowing them to offer gambling services online.

Here's a video from CNBC discussing the DoJ ruling and some other articles discussing the subject in detail:

2) DC Community Meeting Results - It seems that DC Lottery officials plan to go over (at a DC City Council hearing on January 26) their findings gathered at the the 8 community ward meetings held late last year.  They are saying that well over 2/3 of attendees approved of iGaming and welcomed its arrival - while most of the remaining attendees were uncertain or indifferent.
  • The Lottery put out a powerpoint of the results here.
  • The City Council hearing announcement is here.
  • The Washington Times covered the hearing here.  And the results of the community meetings are here.
  • And the DCist did a good write-up of both here.

3) Want to testify at the DC City Council hearing?  LET ME KNOW!
This particular hearing is unique in that it will be broken up into two parts:
1) a morning session starting at 10am and
2) an evening session resuming the hearing, which will start at 6pm.
This hearing's unique 2 time format is intended to allow for people, like yourself, with possibly demanding day jobs, to have the opportunity, if you can't testify during the day, to testify during the evening portion as well.  We're talking about 1-3 minutes of testimony.

Sign up online here:
     Title or Hearing of Roundtable: "I-Gaming and Lottery Amendment Repeal Act"
     Committee Holding the Hearing: "Finance and Revenue"



The Matter of i-gaming and Bill 19-474, the “Lottery Amendment Repeal Act of 2011”

Thursday, January 26, 2012
10:00 a.m. until end or 1:00 p.m. recess, resuming at 6:00 p.m.

Room 412 - John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW; Washington, D.C. 20004

The Committee invites the public to testify at the hearing. Those who wish to testify should contact Sarina Loy, Committee Assistant at (202) 724-8058 or, and provide your name, organizational affiliation (if any), and title with the organization by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. Witnesses may specify whether they would like to testify at the 10:00 a.m. portion or the 6:00 p.m. portion. Witnesses should bring 15 copies of their written testimony to the hearing. The Committee allows individuals 3 minutes to provide oral testimony in order to permit each witness an opportunity to be heard. Additional written statements are encouraged and will be made part of the official record. Written statements may be submitted by e-mail to or mailed to: Council of the District of Columbia; 1350 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.; Suite 114; Washington D.C. 20004

Here's the official link for the hearing notice: