Saturday, October 22, 2011

Adams Morgan ANC opposes DC gambling law

The Adams Morgan ANC (1C) voted this month to oppose the District’s Internet gambling law.

I attended the meeting and had been waiting for the official resolution before publishing something but don’t have it yet. The measure, which ask the District Council to repeal the law,  was approved by voice vote. One commissioner abstained for reasons that weren’t stated.

The repeal proposal was led by Martis "Marty" Davis (1C-02) who chairs the Public Service and Environment Committee.

At the meeting, Davis said the plan to have Internet gambling in the District hadn’t been vetted or thought out very well.

“This is a formula for foolishness,” said Davis of the law.

From the discussion, it appeared the leading motivation for opposing this law was around the process that led to its adoption, namely the lack of hearings and committee review. The Internet gambling law was included as a budget rider and approved last December without hearings.

Commission Chair Wilson Reynolds (1C-07) believes the law will not be repealed by the council. He argued for an alternative approach. “Control this,” said Reynolds, “and restrict this to hotels.”

Reynolds had previously raised the argument at public service committee meeting that the best approach would be approve a resolution to limit gambling to hotels of 100 rooms or more.

Davis believed the hotel restriction would break down over time.

The public service committee and the ANC offered me ample opportunity to make a case for opposing this law, and I’m grateful to them for it. But, honestly, it didn’t take much argument. It seemed apparent that the commissioners had many questions about the law and the changes it might bring to the neighborhood.

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