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Washington D.C. Approves Legal Sports Betting

D.C. Lottery Is Biggest Winner In District’s Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act

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The D.C. Council gave final approval to legal sports betting December 18. The bill passed on an 11-to-2 vote and has the support of D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) giving the six million residents of the nation’s six largest metro area access to a regulated sports wagering market.

The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 now heads to Bowser for her signature and betting can begin as soon as the bill is signed, despite a draft federal sports betting bill circulating Capital Hill.

The District has no casinos and the Act would create betting outlets around Washington D.C.’s pro sports team arenas: Capital One Arena (NHL Washington Capitals and NBA Washington Wizards) and Nationals Park (MLB Washington Nationals). It would also allow bets to be placed at private businesses and via the D.C. Lottery mobile app.

According to the Act, the Lottery would have exclusivity throughout the District but sports arenas could potentially partner with private, licensed sports betting companies on site at their facilities as part of “exclusivity zones” that were lobbied for by MLB, NBA and gaming companies such as MGM and Draftkings.

The District would join Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, West Virginia and New Mexico as states that have authorized sports betting.