- Sports betting in Washington D.C. will take place at sports arenas, local businesses such as restaurants and bars, and through a mobile app.
- City officials are still finalizing the rules and regulations concerning sports betting in Washington D.C.
- Washington D.C. sports betting is projected to produce over $17 million in tax revenue.
WASHINGTON – Sports fans in the nation’s capital will have to be a little more patient when it comes to betting on sports in Washington D.C.
The D.C. Lottery originally planned to have sports betting operational in time for the start of the 2019 NFL season. But, almost a hundred pages of comments have come from gaming and sports companies after the Lottery put out a draft set of rules for them to abide by.
Beth Bresnahan, executive director of D.C. Lottery, gave insight into what this could mean for the city’s sports betting timeline to the Washington Post.
“I don’t know how long…that will throw off the launch.” “But it’s important to know that we want to ensure we are responding to comments and concerns.”
Sports betting in Washington D.C. was approved by the city council in December of 2018. Since there are no casinos within city limits, the activity will instead take place at sports arenas, local bars and restaurants, as well as through a lottery-run mobile sports wagering app.
As far as land-based sports betting facilities are concerned, District officials won’t start accepting applications until September. Provisional licenses may be granted to certain businesses 30 to 45 days after submitting an application, but full licenses may take up to three to six months.
Ted Leonsis, chief executive of Monumental Sports which operates Capital One Arena, previously expressed his company’s intent to capture this new market in a July blog post.
“We are going to try and make Capital One Arena the first arena in the country with a sportsbook,” wrote Leonsis.
“We will lease a location in our building to an independent sportsbook operator who would manage and be solely responsible for the business of the sportsbook and ensure that we as the team franchises never touch the money.”
Local restaurants and bars that want to install sports wagering kiosks or other means to bet on sports have to located outside of a two-block radius of any professional sports facility.
Several bars that meet that standard have now banded together under the name Bet DC as a means to share the same gaming platform.
“It’s hard to convince a bar and restaurant to take a chance on increases in food and beverage revenue,” said Jeff Ifrah, a Washington D.C. gaming attorney who is leading Bet DC’s efforts. “The idea is to really help distribute and lessen the burden of the expenses.”
The D.C. lottery has not yet approved of this initiative. Duffy’s Irish Pub, Wet Dog Tavern, and The Brig are some of the bars that have at least applied to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration to update their liquor license to include legal sports betting.
A projected launch date for Washington D.C. sports betting app still remains the same. Those looking to use their smartphones to place bets on the Redskins, Capitals, or any of their other favorite sports teams will likely have to wait until January of 2020.
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– In his career, Hasan has worked both local and state government positions—including the Attorney General’s Office in Florida. On top of being familiar with the legislative process, he has also been researching and writing on the legality of sports betting across the US. Outside of work you’ll most likely find him producing or playing music, playing sports, or working on creative writing projects. You’ll also catch him at Doak Campbell Stadium cheering on the Noles.