No High Stakes Online Poker in Washington DC

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
No High Stakes Online Poker in Washington DC

Washington DC is about to introduce “real cash” online poker to those gambling within the district, however, officials announced today that there will be no high stakes games played. 

As a result, out-of-work professional poker players who used to patronize the likes of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker before those two companies exited the US market on April 15, won’t be flocking to DC any time soon.

The minimum amount that can be deposited into one’s account is just $250.  There will be no limit on the amount that can be won.  Consider the fact that some pros have won hundreds of thousands of dollars on the PokerStars website in just one month, one can quickly understand the lack of appeal.

Lottery Director Buddy Roogow doesn’t seem to mind.

"We don't think that this is the type of play that they're going to be excited about and interested in," he said. "We believe there's a much larger component of social, recreational and casual players who will be interested in a lower-stakes platform."

Many have questioned whether the relatively small population of Washington, DC, at around 600,000 people, can sustain the new online poker site.

"In the entire world at any given moment, there's plenty of people you can get together in a poker game at pretty much any denomination," said Dave Schwarz, director of the UNLV Center for Gaming Research. "Within D.C., I'm not sure how big that poker-playing population is going to be."

The online gambling business will be run by Intralot, a Greece-based company that last year won a four-year, $39 million contract as D.C.'s lottery vendor.  It operates similar businesses in Europe.   This will be its first entry into the US market.

- Chris Costigan, Publisher

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