The U.S. Supreme Court in May struck down a law outlawing sports betting outside Nevada, and in December, D.C. became the eighth jurisdiction to pass a law to allow wagering on athletic contests. In addition to a D.C. Lottery-operated mobile application, the new sports betting law allows sports venues and retailers to apply for sports betting licenses. Sports venues would pay $250K for five-year licenses, while retailers would pay $5K for two-year licenses.
As many as 200 retailers in D.C. are expected to receive licenses within the next two years, according to a report from Spectrum Gaming Group, commissioned by the D.C. Lottery and promoted on its website.
Independent sportsbooks could open their own operations in stand-alone retail spaces, and existing retailers, such as sports bars, could install D.C. Lottery-operated betting terminals. The Spectrum report projects $5.75M in annual revenue could come to D.C. from independent sportsbooks, with $2.3M coming from retailers’ terminals.
The District still needs to finalize the regulations for how it will implement the law. It is currently debating whether to bypass the potentially lengthy procurement process for a vendor to operate sports betting technology and instead expand D.C. Lottery’s existing relationship with Intralot, allowing sports betting to begin sooner. Entrepreneurs and retailers are waiting in the wings to see how the law shakes out, but they are excited about the opportunity to introduce sports betting in D.C.