One bet is for sure: Gambling expansion never sleeps.
Where loopholes in the law exist, gambling will find a way to bypass the intent of the law. Where masses of people visit or live, gambling will find a way to exploit them. Where there is money to be had, gambling interests will mine it, regardless of the harm caused. It’s the nature of gambling and greed.
Such is the sad irony playing out in our nation’s capital with a recent lottery-based online gambling amendment.
District of Columbia council member, Michael A. Brown, slipped an amendment into a larger budget bill to authorize it late last year. Brown’s amendment bypassed public vetting and normal procedures for approving legislative changes. When suspicions of wrongdoing began to surface, Washington, D.C. hit the brakes on the Internet gambling scheme until council member Brown could be investigated, proper procedures for approval followed and a public vetting granted.
In light of the sudden online-gambling bravado impasse, the brazen online gambling lobby and the D.C. lottery – insistent on moving forward regardless of approval – are jointly promoting “gambling demonstrations” to whet the appetites of the D.C. public – for points and not real money (yet), of course.
According to the Washington Times article , “Any effort to implement online gambling would have to comply with the federal Johnson Act, which generally prohibits the manufacture, possession, use, sale or transportation of any gambling device in the District of Columbia…. While serving as D.C. attorney general, Peter J. Nickles argued that the District’s gambling law would need to clear multiple federal legal hurdles before online gambling could start.”
Wouldn’t it be refreshing if the brazen gambling bullies had to swallow a “NO” pill in Washington, D.C.?