Still no timeline for DC sports betting launch
Legal Sports Report

DC Sports Betting Operators Can Start Applying Tuesday

DC sports betting

Sports betting in the nation’s capital will take a big step next week as Washington, DC, opens the licensing process on Tuesday.

Operators, management service providers and suppliers will be able to access the online application form starting next week. Operational licenses, which are reserved for employees of sports betting providers, will be available in January.

Unfortunately for those ready to bet, the application doesn’t shed much light on when bets will be accepted.

Estimates in various media reports suggest the process could take anywhere from one to three months. Companies already operating in certain North American jurisdictions could get six-month provisional licenses.

The licensing timeline may vary based on the completeness and complexity of the proposed operations, a spokesperson for the Office of Lottery and Gaming said.

How DC sports betting works

The DC sports betting situation is a little more complicated than in most states, and geolocation might be the toughest issue to tackle.

First, the DC Lottery will offer district-wide sports betting, powered by Intralot, through retailers and its mobile app. That app can be used anywhere in DC, except for federally owned land and within a two-block radius of Class A licensees. Intralot projects that the online component will go live in early 2020.

Next, up to four sports arenas can offer sports betting via those Class A licenses.

One for sure, Capital One Arena, plans to get into the sports betting business as quickly as possible. Owner, Monumental Sports, signed an agreement with operator William Hill earlier this year to offer sports betting. Those arenas also get their own mobile operations within a two-block radius of the stadium.

Class B licenses, meanwhile, will not have a limit. They can be awarded to any business that wishes to offer sports betting, as long as the company isn’t solely based on sports betting. Class B operators may only offer mobile betting within the physical footprint of the business, which must not fall within an otherwise ineligible area.

A few of these deals are coming together, too. European sports betting supplier Newgioco will operate sportsbooks for Grand Central, along with the sports bars from Handle19.

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- Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.
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