According to the Associated Press’ Ben Nuckols, the District of Columbia is poised to repeal its online gambling legislation. In April 2011, the District of Columbia was the first jurisdiction in the U.S. to legalize online gambling. There has yet to be a launch in the D.C. online gambling operation, and it is looking as though it will be repealed before it gets the chance.
On Tuesday, council member Jack Evans told The AP that he was planning on "moving a repeal bill out of his finance and revenue committee on Wednesday."
Evans voiced concerns over the lack of opportunity that the council and public had to to discuss the bill before it became a law. "We just need to start over," Evans said. He added that he had no plans on introducing another bill should the current one be repealed.
Evans isn’t the only council member in favor of a repeal. David Catania, Muriel Bowser, Jim Graham, Phil Mendelson, and Tommy Wells are part of the council who support the repeal. Council members also have Mayor Vincent Gray in their corner according to The AP. Gray’s spokesperson, Pedro Ribeiro said, "It’s become such a divisive issue. It’s not critical to the fiscal needs of the city. It’s just better to stop this, take a few steps back, take a deep breath and figure out where to go from here."
Council member Michael A. Brown plans to introduce a new online gambling bill if the repeal is a success.
"Most of the folks that are supporting the repeal are OK with online gambling," Brown told The AP. "They just want to start the process all over, which I find curious."
Brown believes that waiting could mean less revenue for the district than if it were the first jurisdiction to offer online gambling.
"There will continue to be thousands of residents playing unprotected, and there has yet to be anyone that has shown outrage for that," Brown said.
*Photo courtesy of limo4washingtondc.com