Washington D.C. approves regulated sports betting
Earlier this week, the D.C. City Council put its stamp of approval on The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018, which establishes a framework for providing legal sports betting to residents of the U.S. capitol. All that’s required for the ball to get rolling is a signature from the Mayor and approval from the US Senate. (Because D.C. is not a state, the US Senate has a major hand in city business, much to the chagrin of D.C. residents.)
Under the terms of the bill, sports betting operations would be run under the auspices of the lottery office and be done, mostly, online. This part of the bill didn’t sit well with American Gaming Association senior vice president of government affairs Sara Slane who said, “While the vote today is progress, we remain deeply concerned about giving the lottery a virtual monopoly in the mobile market.”
The bill also establishes a few “no-go zones” for regulated sports betting within a two-block radius of Capital One Arena and Nationals Park. If this part of the bill seems a little out of left field for a system that’s going to be operated mostly online, that’s because it was the suggestion of lobbyists from the professional sports leagues, according to ESPN.com.
D.C. city fathers did not, however, take the league’s suggestion that the city pay them .25 percent of the handle as an integrity fee. (That pitch just doesn’t seem to be working anywhere.)
Once the Senate approves the bill and regulated sports betting is up and running in D.C., industry watchers predict that it could generate as much as $36 million a year in tax revenue for the city-state.
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