For those in the US that have been battling hard to have online gambling prohibition end, August 20th will be a historical date. In the third week of August, the D.C. Lottery will officially become the first to offer regulated Internet gambling to D.C. residents.
The controversial decision to allow online gambling in Washington D.C. was met with criticism from anti-gambling groups, and joy from those looking to end prohibition. On August 20th, residents will be permitted to play bingo, poker, scratch-off, and Victory at Sea games. At first the gamblers can only play for fake money.
The Lottery is using the first couple of weeks to ensure that all the safeguards are in place to protect against problem and underage gambling. The guidelines for the new gaming site were outlined on Monday, and they include strict rules regarding age requirements.
One of the goals of the Lottery was to keep high school students from being able to access the site. The gambling age requirement will be nineteen, ensuring all high school students will be blocked. The age restriction, however, does leave open the possibility that college students could gamble online.
The integrity of the site is also a top priority for the Lottery. Currently, they are working on technology that would stop players from cheating fellow players. One deterrent for cheating is the relatively small limits that the Lottery will insist on in the beginning.
After the first few weeks of the trial period, iGaming is expected to go live for real money. At that time, it will become the first regulated online gambling operation in the US that offers games such as blackjack and poker.
The federal government may not be far behind Washington D.C., with a new bill proposed last week by Representative Joe Barton. The legislation would only authorize and regulate online poker, excluding still blackjack, slots, craps, roulette, and other popular casino games.