- The Washington Times - Monday, January 30, 2012

A D.C. Council member with oversight of city finances has scheduled a Wednesday hearing that will allow lawmakers to weigh in, for the first time, on a bill to repeal the city’s controversial online gambling program.

Jack Evans, Ward 2 Democrat, called together his five-member Committee on Finance and Revenue for a markup of the bill by council member Tommy Wells, Ward 6 Democrat, that eliminates iGaming from the city’s lottery system.

The District was poised to introduce wagered games on the Internet last year after the council authorized the program as part of a supplemental budget bill in December 2010. But the program stalled amid questions about the lottery contracting process and public transparency surrounding the iGaming law.

As it stands, the D.C. Lottery is prepared to offer poker and three other games to pre-approved players on home computers and select public areas within the District.

Council member Michael A. Brown, at-large independent, introduced the iGaming law and council member Marion Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, has encouraged officials to implement the law quickly. Both members sit on Mr. Evans’ committee.

But fellow committee member David A. Catania, at-large independent, has co-sponsored Mr. Wells’ bill.
Council member Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 Democrat, also sits on the committee.

She and the chairman have not indicated which way they will vote, although Mr. Evans did express reservations about whether the council realized that online gambling was a part of the contract they approved in December 2009.

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