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District of Columbia – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
While being the home of the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia (DC) finds itself in a legal gray-zone when it comes to online gambling. Regulations were formed back in 2011, allowing states like Delaware and Pennsylvania, amongst others, to forge a robust and regulated market for online gambling sites to operate in. Unfortunately, DC never made any further advances, due to backlash from the public, following the approvals made in 2011. It is only over the past couple of years that any further advances have been made, which was most likely a result of the notable success stories appearing in currently regulated states.
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It is currently forbidden for any establishment within the US to offer gambling activities to DC residents. This is why many international operations, which are based in overseas jurisdictions, have decided to fill the gap in the market. While some of these sites might be fully licensed and compliant, an unregulated market does have a negative consequence of attracting rogue sites that prey on regions that do not have sufficient legislative infrastructure to impede them. This is why, as a resident of DC, you must take extra care before creating an account with a site you are not familiar with. Instead, try and form a mental checklist by asking yourself questions, such as the ones below.
- Is the casino licensed?
- How effective is the casino’s licensing authority?
- Are DC residents accepted?
- Does the site support US dollars?
- What payment methods are available?
Finding the answers to some of these questions can mean spending a lot of time browsing through various sites and conflicting articles. At GoodLuckMate we have taken all of this hassle away by providing you with concise casino reviews and articles, which are written by unbiased industry veterans. So, why not take a look for yourself.
Online gambling legislation remained largely dormant since the turnaround in 2011. Since then the law is very clear on casinos based within the US, however markedly less clear for internationally-based online operations. It wasn’t until 2019 when progress was made in sports betting activities. This paved way for the district’s lottery authority to be the sole sportsbook operator. While definitely a step in the right direction, this marks only a small change to DC’s relationship with the online casino industry. DC will need to look towards more progressive states to effectively create a regulated market, as this will allow the government to set up appropriate operational standards, support programs and taxation frameworks.
The majority of the US remains a blacklisted territory for most casinos, however the country still benefits a lot from the industry’s localization standards. Most sites operate from Europe, which is home to an incredibly diverse variety of languages, currencies, payment options and focal events. As most organizations are unable to equip themselves for every combination of each country’s characteristics, a set of defaults is instead used. This means that the English language is generally the primary language of the vast majority of casinos. Additionally, sites will generally offer US dollars and euros as a default currency option. It is also very common for sports betting platforms to offer odds on American events, such as NHL, NFL and NBA matches. So, the issue stems more from the lack of legislation, rather than localization, for most American players.
Placing bets with US dollars is incredibly prevalent in the online scene. As sites are able to offer their services to people across the world, the US currency has become a standard option at casinos who are not able to offer localized currency options for every market they operate in.
The main problem for US players comes from the standard practice of their bank. Many banks in America will simply deny any payments they suspect being made towards gambling sites. In such cases, players can find a lot of good alternative payment methods to circumnavigate their bank’s policies. E-wallets and cryptocurrencies have proven themselves to be incredibly popular with players, as it provides a separate account to make quick and easy online payments while keeping your bankroll separate from the rest of your disposable income.
Even if land-based casinos could legally establish themselves in DC, there most likely wouldn’t be any space for them, due to all of the governmental buildings. Outside of lotteries and a newly established sportsbook platform, residents will either need to cross state lines or look for a trustworthy online establishment that is based overseas. For most people, the online route will be the most practical path to take by far. Choosing this route will however mean doing some homework. DC residents have no legal protection, should something go wrong at an online casino. It is therefore vital that you can verify the integrity of an establishment before handing over any personal information or payment details. As mentioned before, we will strongly recommend you stick with our site, where you will be able to find a lot of the research and extrapolation ready for you on a silver platter.