Handle 19

  • Handle 19 was denied approval for a sports betting license in Washington, D.C.
  • If they withdrew their application within 15 days of being denied, the OLG would consider their application withdrawn and would allow them to reapply which the business plans to do.
  • It is expected that Handle 19 will reapply within the next three months with continued pushback by the residents of the area in Capitol Hill trying to stop them.

WASHINGTON – It’s back to the drawing board for Handle 19 and a second application process looms as they withdrew their first one for licensure to operate a sportsbook in Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on February 15.

The Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) has confirmed that Handle 19 has taken itself out of the running for a license at this time but it’s not without good reason.

According to the OLG, the business was looking to be denied a license based on various requirements that had not been met through a thorough review of the operation. If they withdrew their application within 15 days of being denied, they could reapply. The only hitch would be having to pay another $100,000 application fee.

What’s Next For Handle 19?

Handle 19 is supposed to serve as a restaurant and bar with the added bonus of a sports betting feature.

However, owner Shane August a former athlete in collegiate football has received nothing but headaches when it has come to getting his dream of Handle 19 off of the ground. There has been plenty of opposition from the surrounding area as it lies within a prestigious part of Capitol Hill and residents fear the addition of such an establishment like that of Handle 19 would cause issues regarding crime and other unsavory activities taking place.

The company hopes to reapply for a license with the OLG within the next two to three months.

At that point, the OLG has six to nine months to review the application for approval. At best, this would see Handle 19 becoming a licensed sportsbook in eight months and at worst, at least a year. And that’s if they receive approval at all considering the neighborhood is still actively speaking out against the opening of the facility.

A liquor license for Handle 19 has not yet been granted because the hearing date that was set for the Fall of 2020 was pushed to March 31 due to the amount of disapproval the neighborhood gave the Alcohol and Beverage Regulatory Administration.

Handle 19 says they will move forward with their goal of obtaining a sports wagering license whether or not they get their hands on a liquor license.

It is not a requirement to hold a liquor license to be eligible to operate a sportsbook in Washington, D.C.

There are a number of applications for sports betting licenses in D.C. still under review. Among them are two places that are very much trying to offer the same things as Handle 19 with the Grand Central Bar and the Capo Deli.

Newgioco would be the operator of their sportsbooks because both locations are owned by A&B Hospitality that has partnered with Newgioco. Applications for these establishments are pending per the OLG.

Sports Betting In D.C.

D.C. is currently home to GambetDC, a mobile sportsbook platform run by the D.C. Lottery that is available throughout the District. The outlet has not been as lucrative since its launch in May as original projections showed it to be.

But the Capital One Arena, a William Hill Sportsbook, and the only other available sports wagering in D.C. at the moment is doing quite well despite being a retail location with limited mobile availability that gives users access to the platform as long as they are in the two-block radius required by law for land-based operators.

Legal sports betting has been slow going as far as operators are concerned in Washington, D.C. But 2021 looks to be favorable for more operations to launch, and hopefully, as Handle 19 has restructured to meet the requirements of the OLG, they will be one of them, and August’s dream will finally be realized.

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