Washington D.C. residents may soon be able to bet on sports if D.C. Council member Jack Evans has his way. This is because earlier this week; Evans proposed a Bill for Legalized Sports Betting in Washington D.C. According to the Washington Post, the bill would amend the law to legalize sports betting and other games of chance.
Evans’ bill already has support from the majority of the 13 person council and includes Chairman Phil Mendelson. Thus, this is the first step in opening a new gambling market in the United States. During a council breakfast, Evans said they must act quickly in order to establish a foothold in the gambling industry.
“We can be first and get a lot of money or 51st and not get any,” Evans said. This is because residents in the district need to travel over an hour to bet on sports or gamble. Thus, the D.C. government needs to amend their existing laws as soon as possible.
A Positive Outlook for D.C. Sports Betting
Gambling laws in Washington D.C. has always been a challenge because 29% of the city is on federal land. Since gambling is illegal on federal land, a good portion of D.C. will not be able to offer sports betting.
However, D.C. has some very strong supporters of legalized sports betting which include the mayor of Washington D.C. In addition, Ted Leonsis, owner of several sports club like the Washington Wizards is also in support of legalized gambling. He believes that sport betting is a “part of the gameday experience at D.C.’s Capital One Arena.
If the bill passes, rules and regulations would govern sports betting and include maximum wager and accounting methods for operators. Furthermore, a license fee would cost $50,000, be renewable every five year and have a 10% revenue tax.
In addition, half of the gambling taxes would go towards funding early childhood educations programs. The other half would go towards funding the Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Several Sportsbook Pay Per Head Providers have already been contacted with possible opportunities in the D.C. area. This is because bookies and entrepreneurs understand that the first players to enter the market will make the most profits.