Is Sports Betting Legal In DC?

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Although DC sports betting was likely to become a reality soon, it seems that it will be delayed once again.

The plans to introduce sports betting with the Intralot operator have been suspended by the court. This comes after talks of a lawsuit by another app developer who claims that other operators should have a fair opportunity to offer sports betting services in the state.

Lately, restaurants have been busy, however. Shaw’s Tavern and The Bottom Line, staples in the DC dining world, have applied for a form of DC sports betting license.

DC Sports Betting History

At the start of 2019, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed off the sports betting bill, though not into law. More recently, the Council has approved the contract to allow gaming provider Intralot to run sports betting in DC. The DC Lottery will oversee all sports betting in the district.

As things stand right now, discussions surrounding DC sports betting are still ongoing. What do we know so far? 

DC Sportsbooks will be allowed via mobile devices. Bars are also allowed to apply for licenses to open a DC Sportsbook. Applications need to be made to DC Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration. Once ABRA has approved licenses, bars will be allowed to take sports bets.

In addition, stadiums in the district can also apply for DC sports betting licenses. At this stage, it’s impossible to say when DC sports betting will become fully legal. We will, of course, keep you updated with each stage of legislation.

What we do know, though, is that DC sports betting will run rather differently to the States where gambling has already been approved. Intralot will be the only provider of sports betting. As there are no retail casinos in Washington DC, selected bars and stadiums will have the opportunity to apply for sports betting licenses. There are also no online casinos in DC.

There could also be options to place sports bets at restaurants, along with kiosks located at certain convenience stores.

In terms of online betting, a mobile betting service makes up part of the bill. More of this shortly.

Let’s take a look at who has applied for DC sports betting licenses, starting with bars.

Fantasy Sports in DC

You can, however, already play Fantasy Sports or Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS for short) in Washington DC.

As DFS is distinct from sports betting, the same regulations don’t apply. You can get a DFS app and begin playing today. Use the Monkey Knife Fight promo code to sign up.

Sportsbooks In DC

To date, the following bars have applied for licenses to offer sports betting.

  • The Brig
  • Duffy’s Irish Pub
  • Wet Dog Tavern

It’s yet to be decided whether these applications will be approved. 

There are other bars that have been reported to have applied to offer a DC Sportsbook. These are Lou’s City Bar, Dirty Water Sports Bar, and Lyve. The latter is yet to open, though.

There are a number of issues that have arisen with bars holding DC Sportsbook licenses. The current bill states that no business that is located within two miles of an arena can apply for a license. The reason for this appears to be that arenas are likely to apply for licenses too, and therefore don’t want to be competing with other sportsbooks.

It’s possible that some form of zone will be introduced, which would allow arenas to ban any sports betting near their location. For this to work, though, geolocation technology would have to improve significantly.

Let’s move on to which stadiums and arenas are likely to offer DC sports betting services.

Stadiums With Sportsbooks In DC

In addition to the bars listed above, the following stadiums and arenas have applied for DC sports betting licenses.

  • Capital One Arena
  • Audi Field
  • Nationals Park
  • St. Elizabeth’s East Entertainment and Sports Arena

Home of the Capitals and the Wizards, the Capital One Arena could host a Sportsbook at the end of the year. This depends on how far discussions surrounding legislation progress. 

Nationals Park might offer DC sports betting in the near future
The Nationals Park by William F. Yurasko 

It was originally planned for Nationals Park to offer a sports lounge. Now that DC sports betting is almost upon us, this venue is now likely to be a sportsbook. A likely date for opening should be at some point next year.

It appears that DC will charge stadiums and arenas around $250,000 for a sports betting license. This license, though, will last five years.

DC Sports Betting Apps

Mobile betting apps will be a major feature of sports betting in DC. The DC Lottery will oversee this form of betting, which will be provided by Intralot. It’s unlikely, though, that mobile betting will be introduced before 2020.

Once it is up and running, it’s expected that mobile betting will be the most common way to place a bet in DC. Intralot will be the only betting app you can use anywhere in the city. However, arenas can also introduce their own apps, but they can only be used within that location.

Bars are also looking to do the same. It is possible that other providers could make their way into DC sports betting. Who will launch platforms, if any, is yet to be seen.  

Along with providing mobile sports betting, Intralot will also provide kiosks for the bars, restaurants and convenience stores that apply for licenses.

The deal with Intralot has come under a great deal of scrutiny. A five-year contract is in place, but the terms of the contract could yet change before sports betting is officially launched.

As you can see, DC has some very particular rules in regards to sports betting. This is also the case for DC Horse Betting.