Washington D.C. Online Casino Plans on Hold

12 Jul 2011 | 01:17 Author: Seth Shafer

Washington D.C.'s trailblazing efforts to offer residents a legal online casino have been delayed until later in the fall of 2011.

While several US states (including New Jersey, California and Iowa) have considered passing bills that would allow legal intra-state online poker sites, Washington D.C. was not only the first to pass a law to legalize online gambling but had planned to offer its own online casino site.

Guidelines had been drawn up that would govern the operation of its online casino, including age restrictions, limiting the hours the site could be accessed, and including safeguards and safety measures to guard against problem gambling.

D.C. lottery officials were tasked with creating and running the online casino, which would offer slots, craps, blackjack, and other popular casino games.

An existing private communications network will be used to control access to the site and ensure that only approved locations will be used to access igamingdc.com, the planned domain for the site.

It appeared at first that the online casino might be quickly launched but city officials have voiced concerns about how access will be controlled and if age restriction efforts and geographical blocking of players from other states or regions will actually be feasible.

With concerns being voiced from various corners, lottery officials and council members have shelved the launch of the online casino until at least October of 2011.

Some officials have said that it might be as late as 2012 before the site is up and running.

Due to the concerns being voiced, D.C. Lottery officials have delayed the launch and released plans for a citywide listening tour,with multiple opportunities for residents, community associations and neighborhood groups to weigh in. 

Many US casinos and states are closely watching the efforts in D.C., as it's the first attempt to offer legal online gambling for US citizens since anti-gambling laws were introduced in the US in 2006.

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