Washington DC expanding gambling

By: Harper Whitefield

In times of financial downfall governments are becoming more open to all sources of income, including gambling. With lottery revenues falling, governments are creating wider gambling options to increase gambling revenue.

The popular Mega Millions lottery that is now available in Maryland and Virginia only is coming to Washington soon. This way four big jackpots from scratch cards and daily lotteries will be hit in D.C. alone. In return Virginia is getting the Powerball lottery.

Keith Whyte, head of the National Council on Problem Gambling, states that governments are focussing solely on getting income from gambling and are ignoring the downsides. They have noticed an increase in availabillity of both legal and illegal gambling options. The government is however not putting extra money in gambling prevention.

The D.C. lottery generated $68.9 million in 2009, this is $1.4 down compared to 2008. The Virginia Lottery revenues went down $16 million to $439 million in 2009 and Maryland reported the biggest loss of $36 million, down from $529 in 2008 to $493 in 2009.

With the new exchanges and expansions of the state lotteries the states Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. expect to raise the gambling income with at least 5%.

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