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Ward 2 Online Gambling Public Meeting Set for Tue., Nov. 15

This new offering, authorized by the City Council last December when it enacted the “Lottery Modernization Amendment Act of 2010” without prior notice or hearings, is the subject of much controversy.

The Ward 2 community meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 15th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the MLK Library (G St. NW, between 9th & 10th Sts.)

The Internet gambling soon to be implemented in DC was the subject of our August issue “From the Publisher’s Desk” column and the critical analysis in easy-to-follow question and answer format by Marie Drissel that we posted in our Special Online Content section. More recently, StopDCgambling.com, which opposes the law authorizing the Lottery to implement and manage this enterprise, posted an excellent summary which we have reproduced (slightly edited for space) below:

About DC’s Gambling Law

“This law was approved as a budget rider. There were no public hearings and almost no press attention until its adoption.

“The law also allows people to gamble from their homes, as well as in restaurants, hotels and bars that are allowed to offer gambling. The later provision has the potential of creating mini-casinos in District neighborhoods. The D.C. Lottery controls this process. [Ed. Note: Furthermore, there is no prohibition for allowing ABC-licensed bars, taverns, restaurants from also operating as gambling “hot spots” and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has not initiated any proceeding to determine whether installing internet gambling terminals in such establishments would amount to a substantial change requiring licensees to obtain ABC Board prior approval.]

“There was initially no provision in the law that gives Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANC) any oversight or notice over decisions to create electronic casinos. That’s been amended to give ANC’s 60 notice on proposed hot spot locations, but neighborhoods still have no control, just notice. They have no power to reject the creation of gambling parlors in their neighborhoods.

“This law was approved with stealth and disregard to District citizens. It was adopted without study or public discussion. Its residents were not informed of this law until its passage. This law represents a profoundly reckless abuse of power by government, and that’s what we are opposing. “