The DC City Council voted Feb. 6 to suspend the competitive bidding process which usually occurs to award contracts to vendors. This means a single operator, Intralot, will operate DC sports betting and the District of Columbia Lottery.
In December 2018, the city council passed Bill 23-25 which would legalize sports betting in the district. The bill was signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser on Jan. 23. It is currently pending in Congress where it must await a 60-day review.
Currently, lawmakers are trying to spearhead additional legislation that would grant the DC Lottery sole rights to gaming operations, including sports betting.
What will DC sports betting look like?
At its core, DC sports betting will follow a similar lottery-operated framework like its neighboring of Delaware.
The District of Columbia Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board will rebrand as the new Office of Lottery and Gaming. The new agency will be charged with regulating and administering the industry.
However, the industry will be unique compared to every other state that has legalized sports betting following the US Supreme Court decision in May 2018.
How so? All other states that passed sports betting bills have some form of casino presence available — the district does not.
The bill authorizes both land-based and online/mobile sports betting. Operators will be taxed at 10 percent on revenue and mobile operations will be powered by the lottery platform powered by Intralot.
Multiple licenses for Washington DC sports betting
Class A licenses will be the four major sporting arenas in the district:
- Capital One Arena
- Audi Field
- Nationals Park
- St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena
Each facility will have a two-block buffer zone with licenses costing $250,000 and last for five years.
Class B licenses will include hotels, bars and restaurants but will not include a two-block buffer zone. Each location must pay a $50,000 licensing fee, which is also good for five years.