Sports Betting Possibly Coming to DC by Next Year

Summary: If recent sports betting plans are put into motion in D.C., the capital of the US could offer the activity as soon as next year.

A ruling by the United States Supreme Court back in May has had a major effect on the gambling industry in the states. Since SCOTUS decided to rule a federal ban on sports betting invalid, states across the nation have begun to pass legislation and begin offering the wagering option within their borders. State after state now offer the activity, including Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia. Just recently, talks began in the nation’s capital of Washington D.C., which could result in gambling as soon as next year.

What’s on the Horizon?

Washington DC CasinosIn speaking with Legal Sports Report, Jack Evans, a Council member in DC, stated that if everything goes according to plan, then sports betting would be live by Major League Baseball’s opening day in 2019. The Committee on Finance and Revenue is set to host a public hearing on the 17th of this month to discuss a measure introduced by Evans last month titled the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018.

It is interesting to note that the capital city is talking about passing sports betting legislation at the same time as the lawmakers of Congress are debating as to whether or not oversight should be provided by the federal government now that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is no longer in play.

A hearing took place last week to discuss sports betting’s current state in the nation and nothing is really expected to come of this meeting. Many felt that lawmakers might try to push for some federal legislation but so far, nothing is happening.

Moving Forward

For the sports betting measure to move forward in D.C., it will need to be voted on and approved by the Finance Committee as well as be approved by the 13 member council. Any bill that is passed by the council and the mayor gives a signature, must then be given to Congress for a review that can last 30 days.

If the bill is sent to the House and not acted on in the 30 day time frame, then the measure will automatically become law in the capital city.

Within the measure, it states that the Office of Lottery and Gaming will be the authority on the new industry and the chief financial officer of the group will be the overseer.

A license to operate sports betting would come at a $50,000 price tag, with the license good for a two year time frame. Operators will then have to pay a 10% tax on their gross sports betting revenues. Revenues paid to the District will be used to fund early childhood development programs as well as arts and humanities programs.

If the bill were to become law, the nation’s capital would be able to offer sports betting in several settings including online gaming. For a region to be successful, online gaming is a must. Because consumers use their mobile devices more frequently than ever before, it just makes sense to make the option available online.

According to the bill’s creator, Evans, sports betting could take place at sports bars in the region as well as within hotels. Evans actually wants to focus on hotels, creating a model bill that the rest of the country can use to create their own sports betting environment.

Only time will tell if the measure will gain approval and if D.C. will become the next region of the US to offer sports betting.