Washington DC Sports Betting & Online Gambling Guide 2020

Updated on March 2, 2020

Washington DC was on pace to join the sports betting ranks in late 2019 or early 2020. As late as March Madness, even.

Now, DC officials believe regulated wagering could reach the nation’s capital in time for opening day of the Washington Nationals‘ World Series defense.

The DC Lottery anticipates rolling out the area’s official mobile betting app, powered by Intralot, around that time. Brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, however, will not take longer to go live.

A chunk of these delays can be credited to legal troubles.

An injunction issued by Superior Court Judge Joan Zeldon blocks the District plan to introduce sports betting. The move prohibits the DC Lottery from moving forward with its $215 million contract with Intralot including making payments to the company.

The DC City Council approved a single vendor, Intralot, to be the official provider of sports betting in the district.

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.

But regardless, rules and regulations were released on June 14 and the Office of Lottery and Gaming began accepting applications for the two types of licenses permitted, Class A and Class B in December 2019.

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 Office of Lottery and Gaming, formally, The District of Columbia Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board 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.

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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.

The first step in the process is going through the DC Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). So far, three bars in DC have taken steps to allow sports betting once the lottery gives the green light.

  • Duffy’s Irish Pub
  • Wet Dog Tavern
  • The Brig

Although bars, restaurants, and hotels can begin submitting applications, lottery officials have not said how many Class B licenses will be issued.

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