Washington DC is planning to start regulating and licensing sports betting. While the new Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act has been signed off by Mayor Muriel Bowser, it will need to be signed off by Congress. Of course, there’s a big chance that Congress won’t ratify the bill or allow it to pass. Either way, they have 60 days to make a decision on allowing sports betting and a single lottery operator.
Sixty Days to Challenge Washington DC Bill
In recent years, they have vetoed multiple bills for controversial measures. Such as: legalizing marijuana and a bill for safe access to reproductive healthcare. As unlikely as it seems, they could decide to profit off of gambling even with their history. Since Congress can’t interfere with state regulations on betting, conservatives can ignore the SCOTUS ruling. After all, Washington DC is not a state and therefore is subject to Congress.
If nothing is done during the allotted 60 days, the bill will pass and become law. However, Congress is mostly conservative at this point. This means that controversial laws have a high chance of failing to pass. Then again, the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act could have benefits for the city in terms of tax revenues. Legal gambling has proven to be profitable in states like Nevada and New Jersey. Still, allowing gambling in the capital could rub some politicians the wrong way.
Monopoly Speculations for Bill
Another issue for the amendment is the decision to allow a Greek operator, Intralot, to have a monopoly on lotteries in Washington DC. While the operator has promised high turnovers, their estimation is based on a ‘high-hold sports betting model’. In the end, this type of model will probably struggle when faced with operators from other states.
Added to this, the bill’s sponsor is under investigation by the DC Board of Ethics and Government Accountability (BEGA). The sponsor, Jack Evans, has allegedly been linked to Intralot via a lobbying firm. As a result, a public hearing on opening up a competitive market will be held on January 28.