On Tuesday, the District of Columbia Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) announced the forthcoming availability of sports wagering license applications on Tuesday, Dec. 3 through its online portals.
“Our team has been working to establish a framework for regulating sports wagering that is fair and fosters public confidence and trust in the process while generating new revenue for the District,” said OLG Executive Director Beth Bresnahan in the statement. “We look forward to receiving applications and to the sports wagering industry soon launching in the District of Columbia.”
Due to challenges to the legality of the D.C. Lottery’s awarding of a sole-source contract to Intralot to run an exclusive mobile sports betting app, as well as ethics questions surrounding Councilman Jack Evans, who helped expedite that contract in the D.C. Council, the rollout of legal sports betting in the nation’s capital has been repeatedly delayed.
The District’s Class A and Class B sports betting outfits
According to the OLG’s sports betting website, there will be a limit of four total Class A Operator Licenses available and will be restricted to the pro sporting venues in the District– Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena, Audi Field (home of Major League Soccer’s D.C. United), Capital One Arena (home of the NBA’s Washington Wizards), and Nationals Park (home of the MLB’s World Series Champions Nationals).
Class B licenses are for other operators within the city. A Class B licensee can only offer sports wagering within the “physical confines of the licensed location,” but not within the (expanding) two-block exclusivity zones around the Class A facilities. Class B licensees may offer sports betting at bars, restaurants, or hotels, as examples.
Unlike Class A licenses, there is an unlimited amount of Class B licenses that will be available provided it is in the “best financial interest” of the District. The standard Class B Operator License requires a non-refundable application fee of $100,000.
“OLG is committed to expediting the licensing process which will be fair and transparent, but thorough,” Bresnahan said.
In terms of thoroughness, the OLG is letting applicants know that they “will be asked to submit substantial information and documentation that will assist the OLG in determining their overall qualifications for a license.” An extensive background check will be performed including taking a look at an applicant’s regulation history in other legalized jurisdictions, financial stability, and even any recent litigation, among other areas.
The OLG is recommending applicants contact the OLG Regulation and Oversight Department ahead of submitting their application to advise the applicant of what will be required of them on their licensing forms.
The sports betting enabling law, D.C.’s Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act, became law in January of this year.
Owner of the Washington Wizards and Capitals, Ted Leonsis, announced plans in October for the construction of a William Hill sportsbook at the arena. It’s likely to become the first first physical sportsbook inside a U.S. professional sports venue. The Washington Post on Tuesday reported that D.C. United and Caesars Entertainment are “deep in negotiations about opening a sportsbook at Audi Field next year.”