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Washington D.C. Holds Gambling Hearings

The D.C. Lottery will not make changes to the District’s online gaming legislation after community meetings were finally held. The nine meetings, which took place in October and November after twice being postponed, were scheduled for residents to voice concerns over D.C.’s plans to roll out games.

Little opposition surfaced. There was, however, disagreement over how revenues would be shared. “I think the substantial majority of people who attended and spoke were supportive,” said D.C. Lottery director Buddy Roogow.

Roogow said lottery officials plan to introduce four games (poker, blackjack, bingo and e-scratch) to the public at first. According to The Washington Times, the program “will be tightly monitored to avoid cheating or irresponsible play and caps losses at $250 per week among its participants, who must register and be approved to play.”

Despite the widespread support, council member Jack Evans, who initially scheduled the meetings, announced plans to put forth legislation that would repeal the District’s gaming legislation.

Evans is expected to schedule a follow up hearing before his Committee on Finance and Revenue after the Office of the Inspector General concludes its investigation into how the D.C. Lottery contract was awarded.

Michael Brown, who led the charge for legislation in the D.C. Council, was on the payroll of a law firm potentially involved in regulation. Brown has also faced criticism for sneaking the gaming legislation into a budget bill, rather than drafting a stand-alone proposal.

According to reports, it is unclear if Evans will garner enough votes on the council to repeal the gaming bill.

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