Early this week Washington D.C. City Council member Jack Evans introduced a bill that would legalize sports betting in the US capitol city. Evans’ strategy is to move quickly and establish D.C. as a local sports betting powerhouse before lawmakers in neighboring states, such as Maryland, can move to create their sports betting bases.

In Evans’ view, the city state is uniquely positioned to take advantage of a lack of real casinos in the area, as well as a strong interest in sports betting, to raise badly needed revenue to fund childcare and development, as well as the arts. In a statement reported on by the Washington Post, Evans stated the situation bluntly noting:

We can be first and get a lot of money or 51st and not get any.

Under the terms of Evans’ bill, operators would be taxed 10 percent of their monthly gross revenue for the privilege of offering wagers to local residents and, presumably, plenty of out-of-town politicians and their staff members. Operators would have to pony up $50,000 for a five-year license.

The upstart councilman seems to have plenty of support from his colleagues, including those who aren’t exactly thrilled about the idea of legal gambling at all. D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson says he doesn’t like gambling but will support the bill saying:

It’s clear that residents have long accepted . . . gambling of the nature like the lottery and Internet sports gambling as acceptable, so it’s important to amend the law to reflect the Supreme Court’s actions.

So far there’s no word on when the Washington D.C. City Council is set to actually discuss and vote on the bill.

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