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US Online Gambling News from Washington, Connecticut and Hawaii

By: Ryan Alders, Wednesday February 1st 2012
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Because of the December 2011 statement from the US Department of Justice acknowledging that it was legal for states to license and regulate online gambling, there will be more developments at the state level. In the last few days three states have come out with announcements.

Surprisingly, Washington D.C. is set to buck the trend. The Council members plan to move a bill to repeal the District's online gambling proposal. A Finance and Revenue Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday February 1. The Committee chaired by Jack Evans will review the passage of the first bill in the United States that allowed online gambling. It has been claimed that this provision was added to a must pass budget bill without due discussion. The Committee includes the leading proponents of online gambling in the District Michael A. Brown and Marion Barry; a vociferous critic David A. Catania and Muriel Bowser who appears to be undecided.

The US state of Connecticut has begun its foray into the online gambling process with an informational forum scheduled for Thursday February 9. This is being organized by Democrats State Representative Stephen Dargan and State Senator Joan Hartley at the Connecticut legislative office building. The invited speakers include State Attorney General's Office representative Bob Clark, Chuck Bunnell from Mohegan Sun Casino, Bill Satti from Foxwoods Resort Casino, Anne Noble from Connecticut Lottery Corporation, Brooks Pierce from Sportech Inc. and Carlos Reinoso from Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling. Earlier, Connecticut Governor D. Malloy had said, "Online gambling is coming to Connecticut whether we like it or not. The playing field with respect to gaming is about to change, and we have to consider those changes and be aware of them." In a Finance Committee meeting on online gambling Representative Roland Lemar demonstrated on his iPad how easy it is for Americans to gamble online. He completed the online registration process on an unidentified, but apparently leading, online gambling website at the meeting.

In Hawaii a bill has been submitted to the state House that seeks to create a Hawaii Internet Lottery and Gaming Corporation (HILGC) that will be authorized to offer games of chance and games of skill over the Internet, including poker, lottery and casino games. The bill allows for intrastate real money wagering and free-to-play online games for residents from within and out of the state. HILGC will be allowed to host at most two land-based gaming events per year with the purpose of attracting tourists to the state. HILGC will have to tender for the services of an online gaming provider on condition that the successful company has not offered Internet services to Americans in the past. The bill is sponsored by long-time gambling proponent House Speaker Emeritus Joseph Souki, Representative Faye Hanohano and Representative Angus McKelvey.

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