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.