Online gambling is set to jump back onto the agenda in Washington DC with Council member Jack Evans looking to commence a study on the industry. A Washington Examiner article claims Evans is teaming up with fellow gambling proponent Marion Barry to try and get the issue back at the fore in the District. Marie Drissel, a civic leader, told the Washington Examiner it was “totally beyond” her as to “why Jack Evans is doing this” in relation to the proposal to study casinos, slots and iGaming in the District.
DC looked all set to become the first place in the nation to offer iGaming before the Full Council repealed the Evans-sponsored Lottery Modernization Amendment Act of 2010. Tacked onto the back of it was an online poker bill and opponents at the time claimed the public didn’t have their say and gave it as their reason for refusal to back the bill (this was despite public hearings that took place finding 68 percent in support of the proposal).
The worry for Evans and Barry is that surrounding states will continue to take revenue away from them in land-based casinos and this is the way to claw some of it back. We expect this one to run and run.
In Nevada, Senator Dean Heller has fired back the latest riposte in his war of words with Senator Harry Reid by claiming the latter’s federal online poker bill is “too important” to be used in a political fight. Heller, speaking to Nevada NewsMakers, said the bill “was never going to pass before the election” adding: “Let’s put an important issue like Internet poker to the sidelines during this campaign because it isn’t helping the process. And unfortunately in this case, the process is just as important as the bill itself.”
Heller and Reid have being going at it hammer-and-tong in the past few weeks after Reid blamed Heller for not garnering GOP support for the bill. It now seems inevitable this bill will either not pass at all or take some time to pass.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo could allow horse racetracks in the state to be taken over by private gambling companies. When Cuomo names the new board at the New York Racing Association, their first task will be to decide whether the state’s three racetracks can be taken over by the likes of Churchill Downs Inc. New York Times quote Cuomo as saying: “We’re going to be putting a new board in place to basically take control, and then how you do the business of quote-unquote horse racing and what is racing in the future, and how do you really incorporate all the knowledge and potential of the entertainment industry, which is a big component of this, is something we’re working through.”