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A bill could turn online sports betting into a legal activity in Washington D.C.

02/01/2019

Online sports betting could soon become a legal activity in D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed a bill that could turn online sports betting into a legal activity here. However, the legislature still hasn't come to a formal agreement on the bill, which means that it hasn't gone through as of right now. 

Must Pass through a Review Period

This bill will first have to pass through a 30 to a 60-day period of review before it can become an Act. Congress could disagree with this bill. If they do disagree with the bill, they will open a joint resolution with the intention of stopping the bill. Let's say that the bill comes and goes and no action gets taken on it. This indicates that the bill can become a law without a problem. In that case, D.C. sports betting enthusiasts will have no reason to expect anything outside of good news. 

How the Bill got Introduced

Jack Evans, a council member, first introduced the bill, which led to an 11-2 vote during mid-December. D.C. hopes that they can beat Virginia and Maryland to the punch on this one. 

Why Sports Betting Differs in D.C.

Online gambling and sports betting often restricts the licensing to land-based casinos in the states. However, since Washington D.C. doesn't have casinos, they have to use a different setup altogether. Legislators plan to divide the sports betting field up into two different licenses. First, you have Class A licenses, which focus on the professional sports venues of Washington. Filing for a Class A license will cost $250,000, and it will have term limits of five years. 

Second, you have Class B licenses, which they intended for all other types of operators. These licenses will also run for five years, but they only cost $50,000 in comparison. Some people may also choose the Class B two-year license, which will cost $5,000. 

Still, D.C. has to second a few important aspects of the bill. For example, who will operate the sports betting? At first, Congress believed they would have no problem leaving it open, but D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson introduced an amendment where Intralot will have the exclusive rights to online sports betting in D.C. Intralot is the company that operates a lottery within D.C. Naturally, people have worried that the lack of competition will stifle innovation and keep the industry from improving as a whole, and this is a possibility, which is why they need to work it out ahead of time.

 
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