D.C. Council faulted on Internet gambling

Inspector cites need for rebid

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

Supporters of the program tout its potential impact on the District’s economy and say the lottery should attract a demographic with disposable income. Proponents also say the weekly betting limit of $250 is a sufficient safeguard against serious losses.

The U.S. Department of Justice opened the door to online gaming via state lottery systems, a reversal of its position, in a recent opinion that addressed whether Illinois and New York can use out-of-state transaction processors to sell lottery tickets to adults within their borders.

Mr. Brown, who openly pushed the program at Mr. Evans‘ hearing, said the District is ruining its chance to grab the market share of Internet gambling while regulating a habit that D.C. residents indulged in anyway through offshore websites.

While other states toyed with the revenue generator, he said, “we in the District of Columbia did not wait.”

Opponents of the program say online gambling is risky business and the District should not be the first in the nation to try it. It places senior citizens at risk, they say, government and gambling should not mix, and they do not support the 50 percent split of profit between the lottery system and its vendor.

The program’s most vocal critic, Marie Drissel, was one of more than 100 witnesses who signed up to testify on the program at Thursday’s hearing.

“The law’s passage represented a reckless disregard for the public,” she said, citing problems with the lottery contract and a lack of transparency about the program’s implementation.

While some of his colleagues pushed back on the program, council member Marion Barry criticized lottery officials and the chief financial officer for not moving fast enough.

“I don’t think we ought to back up on this,” said Mr. Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, who noted that the council approved it as law. “It’s not my fault, it’s not Mr. Brown’s fault, that some members of the council didn’t read this.”

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • The District of Columbia has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

    D.C. police quietly prepping for change in law on marijuana

  • D.C. Council member and mayoral candidate David Catania, at large independent, said that although he had some concerns with the city's fiscal 2015 budget, namely the 'yoga tax,' he said issues could be addressed in next year's budget discussions. (Associated Press)

    Council overrides mayor’s veto of fiscal 2015 budget

  • 3 killed, 4 wounded Sunday in three D.C. shootings

  • D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser, one of seven Democrats trying to unseat the incumbent District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray in next week's primary, campaigns on Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington, Thursday, March 27, 2014. Loyalists are rallying around the mayor, and few are writing him off. But his troubles have provided an opening for one of his challengers, and D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser appears to be taking advantage. Two polls released a week before the primary showed Bowser in a statistical tie with Gray.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    Crime hits close to home for D.C. mayoral candidate

  • Gray

    D.C. Council to vote on Gray’s budget veto