After a year after D.C. sports betting was legalized, the first sportsbook is set to open in March.

  • Sports betting was officially legalized in D.C. back February of 2019.
  • The no-bid contract with Intralot has delayed sports betting for almost a year.
  • The Capital One Arena is likely where the first sportsbook in D.C. will open.

WASHINGTON – After a year of waiting for sports betting to launch, gambling regulators in Washington D.C. said that the city-owned sports wagering app should go live within two months. William Hill has also applied to become the sports betting operator for Capital One Arena.

When D.C. lawmakers brought in legal sports betting to the area, they realized that the district had no casinos. To amend this, many different facilities in the D.C. area have the ability to operate sportsbooks. They allowed provisions for stadiums to open and operate their own sportsbooks.

“The Lottery is committed to maximizing revenue generated for the District through the responsible management and sale of innovative and entertaining game offerings,” said Nicole Jordan, spokeswoman for the D.C. Lottery.

The Capital One Arena will be allotted a Class A sports betting license.

Some sports betting kiosks are expected at the Capital One Arena and that is not all. The sportsbook will likely launch with a mobile sports betting app. Bettors can use the app while they are in the arena or within a two-block radius of the arena. Going any further will prevent the app from working.

After residents pass that two-block radius, they will have to use the city-owned app in order to keep betting on sports online.

A Long Time Coming

Although the Capital One Arena sportsbook is coming, there were a lot of issues getting to this point. Lawmakers in Washington D.C. officially legalized sports betting back in February of 2019. Since the initial legalization, it has been almost an entire year and no sportsbooks have opened.

Intralot was originally rewarded exclusive rights to operate sportsbooks with the D.C. Lottery. There should have been a bidding process for this to happen but Councilman Jack Evans helped rush the process.

Due to this reasoning, launching sports betting had many legal challenges throughout the year. It ultimately ended with Councilman Evans stepping down from his position.

In the end, sports betting is now coming to the area. It will take a little bit more time before sports betting will launch though. Officials believe that the first D.C. sportsbook will launch in March of 2020.

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