Meetings set on D.C. Internet gambling plan


iGaming fact: Cash may not actually stream out of your computer monitor. (bigstockphoto.com)

Lottery officials agreed to the meetings over the summer, under pressure from activists and D.C. Council members concerned about a lack of citizen input. The meetings were originally scheduled for the height of the summer vacation season but were postponed after an outcry.

The meetings will now run from Oct. 13 to Nov. 17 — one week before Thanksgiving.

In a statement, Lottery Director Buddy Roogow said the meetings will “educate residents, constituents, and stake holders alike on what internet gaming is and what it isn’t, adding that residents will get “all of the facts and information they need to make a well informed decision on the impact of internet gaming in the District and in their communities.”

The timing of the meetings matter because D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) has said that he won’t schedule a hearing on the program until the community meetings are completed. That hearing is a prerequisite before the Lottery can proceed with the program.

Evans said today he plans to schedule the hearing for early December. At the hearing, he said, he’s also expecting Inspector General Charles J. Willoughby to present findings of his investigation into the lottery procurement process.

Meanwhile, two D.C. Council members have introduced a bill to repeal the iGaming authorization that passed as part of budget legislation last year. The hearing determine how the council proceeds, said Evans: “It could go either way at this point.”

The lineup:

Oct. 13 — Ward 5: Lamond-Riggs Library, 5401 South Dakota Ave. NE, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Oct. 17 — Ward 4: Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Oct. 18 — Ward 7: IDEA Public Charter School, 1027 45th St. NE, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Oct. 20 — Ward 6: Northwest One Library, 155 L St. NW, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Nov. 1 — Ward 1: Marie Reed Learning Center, 2200 Champlain St. NW, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Nov. 10 — Ward 3: Palisades Library, 4901 V St. NW, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Nov. 15 — Ward 2: Jelleff Recreation Center, 3265 S St. NW, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Nov. 17 — Ward 8: Anacostia Library, 1800 Good Hope Road SE, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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