District of Columbia Online Poker Laws

Washington, D.C. Online Poker Law

In 2010, Washington, D.C.’s city council voted to allow online poker within its borders, becoming the first government body in the nation to say, “Hey, it’s online poker. The people should be able to play it.”

Actually, it didn’t really go like that. It was more like: “Hey, we’re out of money and online poker could help us out.” The Council approved online poker when it approved the 2010 spending plan.

Unfortunately, in 2012, the city council's Finance Committee voted 3-2 to repeal it, both because it wasn’t directly debated, and because of the the way the city’s lottery commission contracted with a Greek firm that was to run the online poker site. Also, city officials realized it didn’t need the poker-infused dollars as badly as they thought.

Without the repeal, Washington, D.C. was set to become the first place in America where it would have been officially legal to play online poker. It also would’ve been the country’s first municipally branded card room. Instead, poker players in the nation’s capital must wait until its elected council starts over with online poker legalization.

When Will I Get to Play Online Poker in Washington, D.C.?

Washington, D.C. residents will be able to play online poker sooner rather than later, as the whole online poker saga unfolds. Look for the council to again address online poker in 2014. If all goes optimistically well, online poker players in Washington, D.C. may even get to play as early as late 2014. As states begin to go live with their games, look for D.C. to allow its players by 2016, at the latest.

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