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Washington DC passed the intrastate poker proposals

Intralot, a lottery provider may be adding Poker to their offering after budget measures allowed this to happen. This means that Washington DC could become the first US jurisdiction to license and regulate online poker

The window for US Congress – that has final approval over the District’s laws – to raise objections expired on Thursday, moving the federal enclave ahead of New Jersey, Iowa, California and Nevada in the race to license and regulate online poker within its borders. Nevada passed the eGaming law authorization in 2002, but at the time, the US Department of Justice advised them not to adopt regulations after the federal law prohibited that activity.

The Washington DC budget provision would allow the nation’s capital to bring in US$13m in revenue over three years, or US$4.3m annually, according to Councilman Michael A Brown. The provisions would also allow DC to operate a fantasy sports site.

Intralot, a Greek lottery supplier had acquired a stake in California-based Cyberarts in late 2009. By doing so they were in a better position to supply the US state lotteries with eGaming products. Earlier this year SciPlay, Playtech’s JV with lottery provider Scientific Games, admitted to eGaming Review it is involved in intrastate poker proposals in Iowa, where Sci Games is the primary vendor. Legislation in the Hawkeye State however now looks unlikely to pass in 2011 after Senate Bill 458 failed to make it through the state’s “funnel stage”, designed to dismiss certain legislature and lessen the workload on lawmakers.

The US Department of Justice didn’t give advice on the DC proposals, eGaming Review understands. Amendments to the wording of legislation to bring it into compliance with federal laws could be required, delaying the implementation of new laws governing the licensing and regulation of online poker within DC.

UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act)  2006 banned internet gambling deposits that in other states, federal and tribal gaming laws were  already illegal. UIGEA also established the framework for legalising intrastate gambling by explicitly declaring that online intrastate wagers did not constitute “unlawful internet gambling” if expressly permitted by the laws of a state.

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