Sports Betting Moves Forward in Washington D.C.

Summary: Lawmakers continue to push sports betting legislation forward in Washington D.C.

The District of Columbia is one of many regions in the United States that is focused on legalizing sports betting services. In Washington D.C., lawmakers are focused and continue to push forward legislation to approve and regulate the industry. A recent legislative meeting saw lawmakers approve a proposal with a vote of 7-6. The decision will see a competitive bidding process avoided for the DC lottery contract.

The passage of the proposal will help to push sports betting into fruition in a much faster manner. The current supplier of lottery gaming will be able to launch the option quickly. Intralot would be the operating company, with a rollout set for the first of September. Because the bidding process is being bypassed, the region can get started much sooner if approved by Congress.

No Bidding Process

Washington DC CasinosThe sponsor of the sports betting legislation is Councilmember Jack Evans. The bill was pushed forward with the help of information provided by a study that supported claims that the standard process of procurement would cost around $60 million and there would be 27 months where the region would miss out on revenues.

Evans pushed his agenda yet again during this recent meeting, highlighting a recent shooting to try and see his proposal move forward. Evans reminded fellow lawmakers that a portion of the money from sports betting would go towards violence prevention.

As long as Intralot provides a reasonable proposal, they would become the only supplier to the district for mobile sports betting. With the passage of the measure, it cuts down on the competition from IGT and Scientific Games.

While the sourcing aspect will be expedited based on this new legislation, there is an issue as to how much competition the product will create as the sports betting industry in the US starts to mature. Sports betting permits in the region will be available for other venues including the sports arenas of the area. However, such operators will be restricted to offering services only within their property.

Strong providers of sports betting in other areas of the US, like DraftKings and FanDuel, will not be able to offer services in D.C. Intralot is expected to hold 20 to 30 percent of the handle in the district. The DC General Fund will benefit from the revenues earned.

Moving Forward

Now the proposal just has to move forward in order to come to fruition. A primary bill was passed back in December to legalize sports betting. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the bill and it must now be reviewed by the United States Congress. A 60-day review window is set before any decision will be made.

If D.C. sees their legislation approved, they would become the latest region to offer sports betting in the United States. Several states are already in operation with sports betting including West Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware. This week, other states saw sports betting legislation introduced including Texas and Iowa.

Sports betting is quickly becoming the top choice for states that want to expand their gambling industry. For years, sports betting has been banned from most every state in the US. Upon the SCOTUS ruling in May, lawmakers quickly began to focus on legislation to see their individual state enter the new industry.

This year will see several states get in on the action, but just how many will actually get started with operations is anyone’s guess. We will watch anxiously to see which states begin offering sports betting services, be it online, in land-based form or in both formats.