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Council of the District of Columbia Votes to Repeal Online Gambling Legislation

D.C. Online Poker

According to a report from The Washington Post, the Council of the District of Columbia voted 10-2 on Tuesday to repeal the Internet gambling legislation that was passed in 2010.

This comes about a week after the Finance and Revenue Committee voted to send the repeal to a full vote.

“I want to make sure we get the best deal for the city,” said Council member Jack Evans. “I believe it should be set up, so the city gets the best price and the best revenue.”

Michael Brown was one of two council members to vote against a repeal. Brown added the legislation to the 2010 budget bill that was passed attempted to save the legislation, but was unsuccessful. According to The Washington Post, Brown would have gotten rid of the city's contract with Greek gaming system provider Intralot to save the legislation. Intralot is also the city's lottery provider and, The Washington Post says, spent more than $5 million preparing an Internet gaming system.

Some council members claim they had no idea what they were voting on when they passed the legislation in 2010. According to council member Tommy Wells, "They didn't even use the word 'Internet gambling.' They used the word 'I-gambling'…We voted as a city, and decided as a city, that we didn't want slots…It has to go through a public process. This didn't go through a public process, but it's slots."

In response to that, council member Marion Barry, who also voted against a repeal, said, "What kind of legislature are you? You giving the public the impression, you didn't know what you voted for. This council already has a low approval rating…and you are telling me, you didn't know you voted on something?"

Some council members are not totally opposed to Internet gambling, but say they "would prefer to start the debate from scratch."

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