D.C. Lottery

D.C. Lottery preparing For Online Gambling Test Drive

While other areas of the country have lawmakers debating whether or not to regulate online gambling, Washington D.C. has already made the commitment. The D.C. Lottery is in final preparations to unveil their new online casino.

The online offerings will first be open for gamblers to play for fake money. That will give the lottery time to make sure that all of the possible kinks in the system are worked out before the casino goes live with real cash.

At first, gamblers will be able to play their favorite casino games such as Texas Hold’em and blackjack. Additionally, bingo will be one of the six games available for players to enjoy in the first couple of weeks. Although the lottery has been given the green light, it does not mean everyone is happy about the online gambling.

“What this will do is create more gambling addicts, bring about more bankruptcies in Washington DC, bring in more foreclosures,” said Stop Predatory Gambling member Nathaniel Beaudoin. “and this will cause more people to go on public assistance programs, which is going to cause them to go deeper and deeper in debt.”

That viewpoint is not shared by all, as many residents of the area believe that gambling will provide financial relief and create much needed jobs. The online gambling plan in DC will still have to deal with possible federal law violations.

On a federal level, the government has for the past five years taken a prohibitive stance regarding Internet gambling. On Friday, however, Representative Joe Barton introduced a bill that would regulate online poker. The bill keeps prohibition in place for other games that the D.C. Lottery is expected to offer, such as blackjack and scratch-off tickets.

Residents of DC can expect to start playing the demo games in the next couple of months. Once the demo games are tested and are running with all proper safeguards, the games are expected to go live in the Fall.

One of the issues that the lottery wants tested is whether gamblers from outside DC can hack into the casino and play games. Part of the regulations governing the availability of the online gambling is that only DC residents are permitted to gamble on the site.

To Win Big

Christina Aguilera Arrested Causing Some Bettors To Win Big

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The world of online sports betting has grown much bigger than just gambling on sporting events. Part of the fun for gamblers these days is betting on some of the proposition bets that sports books offer regarding celebrities.

One of those proposition bets is which celebrity will be the next arrested. The bookmakers offer a variety of odds on different celebrities, and when one is arrested, the winning bettors are paid and everyone else loses. That cycle will now start again after Christina Aguilera was arrested early Tuesday.

Aguilera and boyfriend Matthew Rutler were both jailed Tuesday. Aguilera was charged with suspicion of public intoxication, and Rutler was charged with suspicion of driving under the influence. Aguilera was arrested at around 2:30 AM, and was released at 7:30 when she sobered up.

Rutler, however, was being held on $30,000 bail. Spokesman Steve Whitmore claims that no charges will be filed against Aguilera, and that she was simply being held in jail for her own safety. The arresting officer claims that Aguilera was extremely intoxicated.

Bettors who picked Aguilera will now collect their winnings, although she was not one of the celebrities with high odds. Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan have had the lowest odds in the past couple of months, with both being in trouble with the law on various occasions.

Aguilera has built a solid career off of her voice. This past February, Aguilera sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Although she made mistakes on some of the words, critics mainly praised the performance. Aguilera also performed a tribute to Aretha Franklin at the Grammy’s just a couple of weeks ago.

Canadian Provinces

Canadian Provinces Show US States How To Move On Online Gambling

In the US, several states are considering regulating online poker, and any of those states would be considered pioneers in the online gambling movement in the US. On a global scale, however, one needs to only look North of the US to see how individual jurisdictions can move forward with online gambling without federal laws.

Saskatchewan has become the latest province to discuss possible online casino regulations, following in the footsteps of Ontario, British Columbia, and several other provinces. The framework is simple enough, create the laws and start taking advantage of a billion dollar industry.

In the US, lawmakers cannot figure out which way to go on the Internet gambling issue. On a federal level, Representative John Campbell proposed a bill that would regulate online poker throughout the country. Conservatives control the House, however, so it is likely that Campbell’s bill will be blocked.

Although Campbell himself is Republican, he does not have the full support of those in his own party. Instead, the representative will count on co-sponsor Rep. Barney Frank to rally the Democratic base to vote in favor of the online gambling bill.

Individual states such as Florida, Iowa, California, and Hawaii have legislation on the table that would regulate Internet gambling. It is more likely that one of these states will create online gaming laws before the federal government. If that is the case, the US could see something similar to what has happened in Canada.

“Once one state jumps into the water, many others will likely follow,” said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. “As has been the case in Canada, the first law change is always the toughest, then, after that, other states become comfortable with change.”

Saskatchewan was facing a similar problem to the one found in the states. Millions of dollars was being spent by local residents at online gaming sites that were not regulated by the government. Saskatchewan lawmakers are hoping to grab a piece of the revenue pie starting in the near future.