The full DC council will be voting on repealing the nation’s first government-sponsored online gambling program during the legislative session today.
A report by The Washington Post states several council members have raised concerns that online gambling was legalised last year but the program was never implemented. So far, eight of the 12 council members are up for repealing online gambling, but it’s not all bad. Many of those admit they are open to the concept if it’s introduced again as a standalone bill.
Hawaii’s gambling opponent – university professor John Kindt – has voiced his opinions on anti-wagering in the state, taking his views to the capital. Backed by Honolulu’s police and mayor, HawaiiNewsNow reported he made a statement at the State Capital Rotunda saying how he wants the legalising of online gambling kept out of the state.
“Gambling is a lose-lose in particular for Hawaii because it’s an island economy,” he said. “There’s nowhere for the gambling to go except internally in raiding the public coffers and raiding the local populace.”
However, Sen. Malama Solomon has her head screwed on, and disagrees with Kindt. She said she supports some gambling as it could generate up to $600 million in annual revenue and help fund Native Hawaiian programs and create jobs.
“We can start to really look at increasing our revenues to be able to support the kind of services that are demanded by our residents as well as lower their tax burden,” she said.
As reported yesterday the vote for two bills – one which would allow Atlantic City punters to bet from remote gambling locations using mobile devices, and the other which would offer multimillion-dollar tax breaks for nongaming development – went ahead last night.
As a result of the meeting, both bills cleared the state Senate and will now go to the full Senate for a vote.
Attorney Joseph Tyrell, who represents the Casino Association of New Jersey, said: “This is an exciting area we need to address, and New Jersey can be the forefront.”
Lawmakers also approved several amendments to the original bills, including one which would give the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority the right to regulate noise in the Tourism District.