District of Columbia Hopes for Share of Gaming Revenue
The District of Columbia is hoping to enjoy a share of the millions of dollars worth of revenue generated by the gambling industry each year. The state has complained that its local residents have been travelling to locations such as Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland – depriving the region of much needed profit. Officials are hoping that new laws to introduce online gambling hubs will encourage residents to enjoy popular titles whilst remaining in the vicinity thereby keeping turnover closer to home. Many other bills pushing for reforms are currently pending in California, Massachusetts and Iowa. Illinois, which recently passed a law to offer its lottery online, has yet to have its plans approved by the Department of Justice.
Experts, meanwhile, have voiced concerns about the latest developments – suggesting that states could run into legal difficulties with the Justice Department in forthcoming months. Recent years have witnessed the organisation step up its campaign to crackdown on offshore internet casino operators – resulting in the closure and arrest of several executives in the United States.
Representatives argue that such operations are in direct breach of the Wire Act of 1961 which outlawed betting transactions via telecommunications systems crossing state or national borders. The events of Black Friday only served to reinforce the complications of existing legislation.
Commenting on the move for reform, professor I. Nelson Rose of Whittier Law School said that the current financial climate was responsible for the push. “States had looked at this haphazardly and not very energetically until the Great Recession hit”, he noted. “Now they’re desperate for money”.