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Washington, D.C. Repeals Online Gambling Legislation

By Matt Kaufman, Rakeback.com Poker News Editor

On Tuesday, the Washington, D.C. Council voted on whether or not to end the city’s gambling initiative. Unfortunately for fans of poker (and freedom…), the vote passed by a margin of 10-2.

The D.C. iGaming initiative became law via a budget bill in December of 2010. Due to the fact that it was added to other legislation, many of the city’s residents were outraged. They believed that the politicians had made too significant a decision without receiving enough input from the communities they represent.

Controversy also existed over the legality of the city’s decision to award the development contract to gaming giant Intralot. An investigation was conducted, but a D.C. inspector determined that no illegal activity had taken place either via the passage of the bill or the awarding of the contract.

Intralot got to work, and they reportedly spent at least $5 million developing the city’s online iGaming system which now will not exist. Washington, D.C. may be legally responsible for that amount if Intralot decides to sue the district to recover this loss.

Although D.C. lottery-sponsored iGaming appears that it will not happen anytime soon, Intralot still holds a lottery contract with D.C. which will be under heavy scrutiny in the coming months.

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