• DC Sports betting was signed into law by Mayor Muriel Bowser in January of this year.
  • Regulations were later approved by the DC Council.
  • August marks the beginning when bars in DC can apply for sports betting licenses.

WASHINGTON – With the approval of the sports betting contract in the District of Columbia, the next steps are being taken to have the industry live this fall.

The contract allows Intralot to be the sole operator for the lottery’s sports betting services but major plans and renovations have been announced for the professional sports stadiums in the area. These four “Class A” licenses are given a two-block exclusivity zone, which means only a few areas of the District are eligible to be approved for a “Class B” license.

With this, many bars are beginning to file the necessary paperwork to become a licensed sportsbook.

Sports Betting At Bars In DC

In order for the venues to be approved, they must apply (at no cost) for a different liquor license and submit the application to the District’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.

During this request, the bars must outline their exact plans for sports betting including how many kiosks or ticket windows will be available, its location within the facility and a security plan for the establishment.

Once approved, the bar must then apply for a different sports betting license that costs $50,000 from the beginning and an additional $50,000 to renew the license every year. If rejected, applicants have 45 days to protest the decision.

While the process is rather straightforward, restaurant owners and managers find themselves running into problems getting started.

There’s been no guidance on that from the lottery,” said Jeff Ifra. “They’re obviously preoccupied with their own things right now, including standing up their own product.”

Ifra is the leader of Bet D.C. – a group of those ready to do what it takes to bring sports betting to the bars and restaurants in the area.

The lack of knowledge hasn’t stopped anticipatory efforts from bars such as The Brig though.

“We’ve installed the electrical and everything, we’re ready to go,” said Ryan Roller, The Brig’s GM. “We just wish there was a set timeline in writing that we could adhere to.”

Roller explained that a geo-fenced betting application, as well as two self-service kiosks and a manned ticketing window, are in the plans for his business.

While mobile betting in DC isn’t expected to launch until next year, getting the written plans into execution will help The Brig right out of the gate when the mobile industry launches.

Other venues such as Duffy’s Irish Pub and Wet Dog Tavern have also applied for their required liquor license.

Through an email with NBC Washington’s News4, Duffy’s owner Casey Callister laid out some their plans.

“We hope to be able to offer as much sports betting opportunities that our patrons want and the licensing process allows.”

The bars in DC are eligible to apply for sports betting licenses as soon as Thursday – the first day of August.

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