Washington D.C. residents got quite the early Christmas gift when on Tuesday afternoon it was announced that the state had passed a law to allow sports betting within their district’s limits.

The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 has been rewritten to reflect that both retail and online wagering will be allowed in the state. Yes, there is going to be Congressional review, but they also passed legislation to allow for preparations in the interim.

Mayor Muriel Bowser just needs to sign off on the bill, and she is not expected to veto it, so there shouldn’t be anything to worry about there.

“We’re venturing into new territory with sports gaming,” Councilmember Jack Evans said. “I’m very excited that the District will be out of the box if this passes today.” He reiterated his desire to beat surrounding states Virginia and Maryland into the market.

While the bill did successfully pass, it was not unanimous with a final vote of 11-2. Councilman David Grasso was opposed to it, citing mental health and gambling issues that could face the people of D.C.

D.C. Sports Betting Launch Timeline

Now, the emergency bill will land on the mayor’s desk and the full bill will need to be reviewed within 60 days.

From here, the newly rebranded Office of Lottery and Gaming will be in charge of regulations and the framework will take on the form similar to Delaware. However, in practice, it’s not expected to be similar.

The tax rate is set at 10 percent on revenue, which will hopefully allow for more market competition. The mobile betting will be offered through the lottery site.

Possible D.C. Sportsbook Locations

Classified as “Class A licensees”, Capital One Arena, Nationals Park, Audi Field and St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena could participate in the legal sports betting landscape.

A “Class A” license will cost $250,000 but are good for five years and there is also a two-block exclusivity zone, allowing for less competition.

“Class B” licenses are for regular retail sports betting outlets. They have the same five-year length but come at just $50,000.

Imagine going to a Washington Nationals game and grabbing a hot dog, a beer and throwing down $100 on a Washington Redskins Super Bowl Championship future bet? That could very well be the case if goes to plan in D.C.

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