D.C. Council member Jack Evans said the start of online gaming in D.C. will be delayed.
Evans called for additional study on the planned Internet gambling hot spots.
“I have met with representatives of the chief financial officer and DC Lottery in light of yesterday’s hearing and am pleased that they are taking immediate action in response to concerns raised before the committee,” Evans said. “We have agreed to postpone implementation of any ‘hot spots’ until clear rules are in place that guarantee prior community input.”
The council approved online gambling late last year as part of a budget bill. It was quietly inserted into the budget by Council member Michael Brown and then Chairman Vincent Gray after months of private meetings with gaming officials, NBC Washington’s Sherwood reported. It became law this spring when Congress did not object.
DC Lottery was preparing to offer online poker, blackjack, virtual slot machines and other games by Sept. 8 for people with computers registered in D.C. At a hearing Wednesday, several witnesses complained online gaming never went before a public hearing before. Some worried the gambling parlors will change the nature of their neighborhoods, while others said they wanted the revenue from online gambling.
DC Lottery will meet with council members to organize community meetings in their wards.