Sports Betting in DC Delayed Over Sole Sourcing
Eagerly anticipated sports betting in Washington DC did not start off on the right foot. While it may have been given permission by the top City Council authorities, the fact that the city’s entire market remains in hands of DC Lottery and Intralot made this launch much reviled and seen as a bad example of instating a monopoly.
Facing this unfairness, several professional leagues and gambling operators have come together to form a united opposition to this trend before the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act was ratified. This coalition came to naught, but now there is another hope for them – as legal sports betting market launch in DC has been halted!
Back and Forth
The delay comes after the emergency legislation that was supposed to accelerate the implementation of Act was discarded. It has been withdrawn this Tuesday by Phil Mendelson, DC City Council chairman.
This puts DC Lottery’s intentions of granting the only supply license for mobile wagering to Intralot in jeopardy, because the proceeding of standard legislation means that there will be a public hearing later this year…
…during which this matter will be subjected to hearing and reconsideration, much due to vocal demands of other parties interested in running their sportsbooks in the US capital instead of this being the sole privilege of one operator.
Should the conclusion of the hearing be that DC Lottery/Intralot deal is invalid, the operator will have to run a procurement process, giving other betting companies a chance of conducting a business of their own as well.
Three Years Potentially Lost
Those supporting the DC Lottery/Intralot have a point on their hands – they say that speedy resolution was necessary, because the proper tender process could take full three years to complete.
That is too much of a precious time to be lost and even more money – according to the estimates made by City Council chief financial officer Jeff DeWitt, DC could miss out on $60.9 million in sports wagering revenue until the process finishes in 2022.
There was also the question of going live with the sports betting before the MLB season begins in April. However, that plan is hanging by a thread now that hearing is due.
According to the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act, the DC Lottery app would be the only mobile wagering platform permitted in the city. However, mobile betting services can be offered by some of the city’s biggest sport venues that hold the Class A license. These are FedEx Field, Nationals Park, Capital One Arena and Audi Field.
Suppliers interested in obtaining the license must pay the $10000 fee. Annual renewal cost is $2,000.
“DC betting delayed over DC Lottery, Intralot concerns”, igamingbusiness.com, January 9, 2019.