Washington DC Councilman Proposes Sports Wagering Legislation

The sports betting is slowly but surely taking over the United States. After the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA back in May, a number of states moved forward and made wagering on sports legal.

Now, in addition to Nevada, the list of states where sports betting is legal includes New Jersey, Rhode Island, Mississippi, and West Virginia.

According to available information, the nation’s capital could become the latest jurisdiction to offer regulated sports betting to its residents. The first move was made by Councilman Jack Evans, who introduced the proposal known as the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 at a meeting held last week.

Bringing Sports Betting to DC

Washington DC Councilman Proposes Sports Wagering Legislation

Under the provisions of the proposed piece of legislation, the Office of Lottery and Gaming will be allowed to regulate both online and land-based sports betting in the District of Columbia. The proposal won’t introduce a brand-new legislation, but it will amend the current one, adding wagering on sports to the list of products allowed, along with lotteries, daily number games, bingo and raffles for charitable purposes.

All operators who wish to apply for a license will need to pay an application fee of $50,000, while issued licenses will be valid for a period of 5 years. In addition to operators, both suppliers and service providers will also need a license. An annual licensing fee is set at $10,000, along with a renewal fee of $2,000.

The District of Columbia Lottery will also be able to enter the sports betting market, provided it pays a fee of $5,000 for a two-year license.

The proposal introduces a 10% tax on gross revenue gained from sports betting, which will be paid on a monthly basis. One half of this tax revenue will be allocated for the Birth-to-Three For All DC Amendment Act of 2018, an initiative aimed at providing social support for children, while the other half will go to the Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Ensuring More Money for the Capital

Councilman Evans, who is one of the biggest advocates of sports betting legalisation in the District of Columbia, believes the regulation of wagering on sports would ensure the capital benefits from the overturn of PASPA.

He said the introduction of the new proposal represented the first step towards capturing the exciting new stream of revenue, instead of watching District residents’ dollars going to the coffers of other jurisdictions.

Evans pointed out the District of Columbia would be the leader in a fast-growing industry. He emphasized the city needed to take advantage before Maryland or Virginia created a thriving sports betting market. According to him, it’s the District that should attract more consumers and generate revenue for its residents.

Now, the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 has been passed on to the Committee on Finance and Revenue for further analysis. To have any chances of being adopted into law, the proposal needs to appear on the agenda of at least two meetings. A total of six of them is scheduled to take place before the end of the year.