- It has been over a year since D.C. sports betting has been legalized.
- D.C. has missed out on key sports events to rack up sports betting revenue.
- It is uncertain whether or not D.C. sports betting will actually launch by the end of March.
WASHINGTON – After a year of delay, the D.C. Lottery is hopeful that a sportsbook will be operational by the end of March.
Washington D.C. sports betting has suffered a large number of plagues. What was supposed to be a speedy process has turned into the most delayed sportsbook launches in the country. Now D.C. Lottery officials are aiming for the start of the MLB season to launch their sportsbooks.
A Series Of Delays
D.C. sports betting was first officially legalized in February of 2019. That puts D.C. a year late to launch their sportsbooks. Although the Lottery has adopted sports betting rules and regulations, no licenses have been distributed.
This is because D.C. sports betting has been plagued with a number of issues. Originally, the company Intralot was given a no-bid contract with D.C. to operate sports betting. This was done in an effort to get sportsbooks running in the district as quickly as possible.
However, a number of rules about where sportsbooks can operate has left many confused. On top of that, complaints and lawsuits have delayed sportsbook launches. Thanks to the no-bid process with Intralot, it has become easy to argue that D.C. sports betting has been delayed because of it.
“Did D.C. get the best bargain? The fact that they haven’t launched yet in 2020, that raises some questions. In terms of revenue on the table, that’s another issue. Because of the delay, they lost revenue over the Super Bowl and they’ll lose revenue over March Madness. Delays happen. In D.C., there was a particular emphasis on speed, and it’s disappointing but at this point consumers want to see something go live,” said Jeff Ifrah, an attorney.
The point of doing a no-bid process is to launch sportsbooks before the surrounding states do. However, legal sports betting has further spread around the country. D.C. is currently surrounded by states that have launched sports betting or are in the process of doing so.
That being said, sportsbooks are now expected to launch by the time the Washington Nationals begin their season. However, with how many delays D.C. has faced, it is uncertain if sportsbooks will launch in time. The only one slated to launch at the end of this month is the District’s mobile application.
Daniel is a writer that enjoys writing to inform readers. When Daniel was writing for The Borgen Project, he liked informing the world about victories in global poverty issues. Daniel is also an avid horse racing fan who has been going to the track with his father for over a decade betting the ponies. When he is not writing about sports betting or at the track, Daniel loves playing video games and watching sports in his spare time.