Washington D.C. passed gambling legislation in December 2018 that would allow sports betting to take place in the Capital. Legislators also passed emergency legislation on December 18 that would allow sports betting operations to be launched without having to wait for Congressional approval.
D.C. does not want to waste any more time in getting its sports betting industry up and running and is currently waiting on Mayor Muriel Bowser to sign the bill.
The latest gambling news out of Washington D.C further confirms that legislators are keen to get their sports betting industry up and running. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson has been requested by Jeff DeWitt who is the chief financial officer for the D.C Lottery to present temporary and emergency exemptions before the council on Jan 8.
Based on gaming regulations, the Lottery will be the exclusive mobile sports betting provider in the state, giving it a monopoly on sports betting. The D.C Lottery wants Intralot to be its sports betting provider and is not very interested in checking out any of the other sports betting providers in the market.
The typical process is to set up a request for proposal and go through a competitive bidding process. The D.C. Lottery does not want this to happen as CFO DeWitt believes that going through such a process could take close to 3 years and that’s a delay that D.C cannot afford to take as it would approximately cost the state around $60.9 million over the three year period.
Lottery officials also point out to a study carried out by Spectrum Gaming Group which says that D.C. would lose out on their ‘first mover’ advantage should they go through the regular RFP process.
D.C Lottery and Intralot already have a working relationship though their lottery contract which is valued at $7 million. The D.C Lottery is confident that it can work out a new sports betting deal with Intralot and share a percentage of gaming revenue.
New Amendment Increases Sports Betting Fees
Councilman Kenyan McDuffie has also put forward a second set of temporary and emergency legislation in an effort to make amendments to the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment of 2018.
McDuffie wants the application fees to be increased for Class A and Class B applicants from $250,000 to $500,000 and has called for a discount to be given to operators who have partnered with a certified business enterprise (CBE).