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Online Poker to Hit DC Sooner Than You May Think

14 April 2011 by admin

DC lawmakers are quite happy with the passing of their bill to regulate online poker within the District of Columbia. They also like that they quietly snuck from the out of nowhere and took first place in the regulation race. But there was speculation as to how fast DC would set up their online poker network, with guesses that it would not be ready until 2012.

I should not be surprised that DC is surprising us all again. The city is looking to have a no-stakes online poker network up and running by July 1. As for real money online gambling on the DC network, the Executive Director of the DC Lottery, Buddy Roogow, said that they are eyeing September 1 as the launch of dozens of online gambling hot spots within the city.

That is the other aspect of their plan to introduce online poker to DC: online poker hot spots. Officials do not want to go whole hog with their new found pan to generate revenue; they understand that they are the first in the nation to try regulated online poker, and that there is a concern for limiting the gambling to DC only as well as concern for increased gambling addictions. Rather than turning an online poker network loose in the nation’s capital, officials say they will create twenty to thirty gambling hot spots in places such as hotels, clubs and bars.

No hot spots have been named yet as city officials are still examining what criteria they want to put in place for a location to be eligible to be an online poker hot spot. Roogow is hoping that the DC Convention Center would be one of the named hot spots: “That would be an ideal kind of location for a hot spot. So are hotels. There is only one Convention Center. There are many hotels.”

Those who wish to play would have travel to the hot spot and bring their own computer, and the network would be limited to those hot spots. The reason behind the hot spots is so city officials can make sure that they can limit the access to the network to DC only, but there is intention to open the network up once they ensure that its access is limited to DC. Officials hope to open up the network by the end of this year. Now that is some speedy planning. Of course they have to implement it, but the pace of their planning is encouraging.

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