Legal

DC lawmakers to vote on sports betting legislation on Tuesday

Jake Patel
Posted on December 17, 2018

Lawmakers in the District of Columbia (DC) are set to vote on proposed sports betting legislation tomorrow.

If the DC Council does legalize sports betting, it will become the seventh government body to legalize the activity this year.

The council will hear a second reading of the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act (Bill 22-0944) before voting on it.

The bill permits sports betting to take place at five professional sports venues located in the city. On top of this, the bill gives the DC Lottery a monopoly over interactive gaming in DC.

The bill was initially introduced in September and has gone through several iterations.

The council have put the bill on its “non-consent” legislative agenda. This means the there is likely to be some more discussion on the topic and some more amendments before a final vote is reached.

The most controversial aspect of the DC sports betting bill is that it allows the DC Lottery to become the sports betting regulator in DC, at the same time the DC Lottery will have the ability to restrict online and mobile sports betting competitors.

At this moment in time, the bill states that the Lottery’s interactive gaming app will be the only one available in the city.

Councilman Jack Evans who introduced the bill has said that the DC Lottery recommends the “single-app” model and that the body has described it as the most lucrative option for the city.

However, the sports betting bill does include provisions that would allow the council to invite commercial businesses and operators to conduct business in the state if the “single-app” model does not work.

Although bills that are approved by the Council must go through the process of being signed by the mayor and approved by Congress, an identical emergency measure is also on the agenda for Tuesday.

This means that if the Council approves the bill tomorrow and approves the emergency measure, then the bill will become law almost immediately allowing the Lottery to begin preparing regulations for sports betting.