D.C. Councilmembers to Create Commission to Study Legalizing Gambling
District of Columbia councilmembers are reportedly considering the creation of a commission to legalize gambling, perhaps opening one or more casinos.
The possible consideration of casinos represents another turn of the circle for District legislators, who briefly legalized online poker in April of 2011 before reversing themselves, and dropping an admittedly poorly constructed plan, under pressure from federal legislators.
The plan, according to DCist.com, has been put forward by councilmembers Marion Barry, and Jack Evans, who have cited the large number of dollars spent by the District’s residents at nearby casinos in West Virginia and Maryland.
Barry is the colorful former mayor of the District of Columbia who successfully returned to the political scene following a six-month stint in federal prison. In 1990, Barry was famously videotaped smoking cracking cocaine, and was sentenced on related charges, but remains massively popular with DC residents in a political career spanning nearly four decades.
D.C.'s residents and legislators have considered legalized forms of gambling for nearly two decades, though all previous plans have been stymied by the District’s unique political situation. One or more riverboat casinos, to be floated on the Potomac, were under consideration in the mid-'90s, and a plan for slot casinos also received consideration last decade.