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Gambling Laws in the District of Columbia

Why A Casino Is The Last Thing You’ll Find in Washington’s District of Columbia


The District of Columbia finds itself in a unique position as being both a city –the capital city- and a district, but it certainly isn’t a state. 
As such the District’s government takes the mantle in producing governance laws, including the gambling laws into which we’re going to take a closer.


Legal and Illegal Gambling In the District of Columbia


The District’s Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board (DCLB) is the regulatory body mandated to regulate gambling activities in the District of Columbia, under the District of Columbia Gambling Laws.
What’s immediately apparent is that the District of Columbia Gambling Laws are a little quite vague and indeterminate, and so different parties have chosen to take advantage of this loophole to interpret the laws as they see fit.
One thing that’s clear though is what the district considers to be legal gambling, and that is the operation or participation in gambling that is operated by and is for the benefit of the District of Columbia by the District’s Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board (DCLB).


Offline Gambling in the District of Columbia 


Let’s just say that the District of Columbia is certainly not the place you’ll find any casinos or any other private established offering tables, cards, bingos, slots, or any other gambling-related activities.
As is characteristics of all American States, the lottery is a monopoly of the State, and in this case the District’s Council. 
In fact, what seems to underlie the illegality of gambling in the District is the provision of gambling services within the District, which, of course, denies the District the revenues it legally holds a monopoly over.


District of Columbia’s stance on online gambling


In 2010, the District of Columbia passed legislation that seemed to legalize online gambling, referred to as i-Gaming, although this was reversed two years later with the legislation put on hold in 2012. 
I-Gaming was to be offered by the District of Columbia Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board (DCLB), and they were permitted to offer games of skill and chance over the internet provided this remained within the District’s geographical boundaries.
However, the online gambling community insist that there doesn’t seem to be any legislation against residents taking part in online gambling provided the service is not provided by an entity within the District’s boundaries. 


Age restrictions in the DC Gambling Scene


The District of Columbia prohibits anyone from knowingly permitting a minor below 18 years from engaging in gambling, although a minor can receive a gift of a lottery ticket and can collect the reward.


The District’s Stance on Cryptocurrencies and bitcoin gambling


Cryptocurrencies have picked the interest of several legislators, states and especially the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission. 
The District of Columbia gambling legislation makes no mention of gambling using virtual or cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, although the District recently issued a license to Coinbase, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges.


At the end of day


Unlike in other U.S. states, gambling laws in the District of Columbia are more stringent, and the residents have the online gambling scene as their solace should they seek the adrenaline. 

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