The Week In Sports Betting: All Eyes On DC, Congress

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DC sports betting 2019

The nation’s capital was the focus of the US sports betting industry this week, via bills both at the federal and city level.

But there was also a lot of buzz around the country as legislatures prepare to address legal sports gambling in 2019.

Here’s a roundup of what went down around in the sports gambling industry this week:

DC sports betting

A long-promised sports betting bill surfaced this week in Congress from Sen. Orrin Hatch, although it was only a draft and not officially introduced.

Deep dive on the bills here and here from our John Holden.

The most problematic part of the bill would be the mechanism where state sports gambling laws have to be approved by the US Attorney General; this probably won’t be very popular with states’ rights advocates.

The smart money says the draft bill exists to appease lobbyists and will be going nowhere in the short term. But still, there’s been some amount of interest from a least a handful of lawmakers on the subject.

Anyway, a bill getting passed during the current session of Congress and before Hatch retires seems like a huge underdog right now.

And more DC sports betting

The other big movement in Washington DC came via the city council, which has been looking at legislation this fall.

Right now, it looks as if the DC Lottery is leaning toward using a single operator to run its sports betting operation (if a city bill passes).

That’s something Major League Baseball, the NBA, MGM Resorts, DraftKings and FanDuel want to avoid, and it was the impetus for all of them banding together to lobby in DC. Politics makes strange bedfellows.

Anyway, DC sports betting could be coming, and in an uncertain form. The details should come into focus in the coming weeks.

The rest of the sports betting world