In May, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a law banning sports betting. Since then, five states — Nevada, Mississippi, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Delaware — have legalized the practice.
DC might be next, as Ward 2 councilmember Jack Evans introduced a bill that would legalize sports betting in the District on Tuesday.
Today I will introduce the "Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018" during the Council's Committee of the Whole meeting. The legislation's purpose is to legalize sports betting in D.C. while creating strong regulatory structures that ensure consumer confidence. pic.twitter.com/zi4UBV4fvC
— Jack Evans (@JackEvansWard2) September 18, 2018
The bill, which can be found in full here, classifies sports wagering as “accepting wagers on sporting events or portions of sporting events,” including players and statistics, and that this can occur over any wagering method including “in-person, or over the internet through websites and on mobile devices.”
The move comes as West Virginia’s Hollywood Casino allowed sports betting on August 30. The goal is to regulate betting and create a new revenue stream for DC.
Should the bill pass, DC residents could bet on their favorite sports teams.
For example, should you want to bet on the Capitals, you could bet on the goal spread of the game, total goals scored in the game, and whether or not they’re favored to win. A good primer on hockey betting can be found on Vegas’ sports betting site.
Capitals owner Ted Leonsis has taken note, and tweeted about the legislation.
Bill to legalize sports betting in DC, details herehttps://t.co/ytXHibiWPM
— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) September 18, 2018
The entirety of Evans’ press release on the bill can be found below:
Washington, DC – Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans will introduce the “Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018” on Tuesday during the Council of the District of Columbia’s regularly scheduled Committee of the Whole meeting.
On May 14th, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed a 1992 law which banned sports betting and today, more and more states are working to legalize and regulate this industry. Sports betting is legal in five states including Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
Sports betting moved closer to the District with the August 30 opening of sports betting at the Hollywood Casino in Charlestown, West Virginia. The general manager of the Hollywood casino told the Washington Post in August that they were heavily targeting the D.C. metro area because they have the advantage of being, “the only game in town.”
The legislation’s purpose is to legalize sports betting in the District of Columbia, while also creating strong regulatory structures that ensure consumer confidence. The Councilmember’s office worked closely with the District’s Lottery to craft legislation that would maximize the revenue realized by the District. Residents and visitors will be able to bet both online or in person, and the Lottery will have broad powers to ensure the integrity of the system.
“Today, we take the first steps towards capturing this exciting new stream of revenue, instead of watching District resident dollars fill the coffers of other jurisdictions,” said Councilmember Evans. “The District of Columbia will be the leader in a fast-growing industry. The city should take advantage of our ability to act before the Maryland or Virginia legislatures to create a thriving sports betting market, which will attract consumers to the District and generate revenue for District residents.”
A portion of the revenue generated from sports betting may go to partially fund the recently passed “Birth-to-Three for All DC Act” which promotes early childhood wellness programs.
“The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018” was introduced by Councilmember Evans. At the time of this announcement, Councilmembers Cheh, Gray, and Todd are co-introducers. The bill will be referred to the Committee on Finance & Revenue.
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