WASHINGTON – The D.C. Council voted 10-2 to repeal the nation’s first government-sponsored online gambling program Tuesday, following what turned out to be a fiery D.C. Council breakfast meeting earlier in the day.
Online gambling was legalized in the nation’s capital last year, but the program was never implemented.
D.C. Councilmember Michael Brown offered a compromise bill in hopes of avoiding a complete repeal of a law allowing online gambling in the nation’s capital. The council’s Finance and Revenue Committee voted last week to send the repeal bill to the full council.
Brown’s efforts were not in line with some of his colleagues’ wishes. At Tuesday’s breakfast, he and Councilmember David Catania shouted over the table at each other about the online gambling issue, and exchanged some expletives.
Several councilmembers raised concerns that language about online gambling was not included in the city’s contract with its lottery vendor. The program was then legalized as part of a budget bill that was approved without public comment.
The only two councilmembers to vote against repeal Tuesday were Brown and Marion Barry. Brown plans to introduce a new standalone bill that would allow the District government to offer online poker, blackjack and other games of skill and chance.