Washington D.C. bill would legalise sports betting in the U.S. capital
Council member Jack Evans commented that the federal district had to act quickly in order to get ahead in the sports betting industry, which had been banned in most parts of the country until the Supreme Court lifted the ban last May.
Evans said, “We can be first and get a lot of money or 51st and not get any.”
The bill would add sports wagering to the existing law that only allows lotteries, daily number games, and bingo and raffles for charitable purposes.
Needless to say, it has been a momentous week for U.S. sports betting. The big date that the industry has been waiting for all summer was revealed. U.S. federal legislators will hold a hearing on sports betting on September 27th.
The closest place for people in the district to bet on games is over an hour away, in West Virginia. Neighbouring states Maryland and Virginia have not legalised sports betting either, however, Maryland does have casinos.
The rules and regulations that already govern sports betting would be adapted to the bill, including maximum amounts that can be wagered, the type of wagering tickets, and accounting methods of operators.
D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson remarked, “It’s clear that residents have long accepted… gambling of the nature like the lottery and internet sports gambling… so it’s important to amend the law to reflect the Supreme Court’s actions.”
Evans said that he had drafted the bill along with the office of Mayor Muriel Bowser. Bowser’s chief of staff, John Falcicchio noted, “Sports betting can help us fund critical programs, create jobs for District residents and allow visitors and commuters to further participate in our economy.”
License fees are set at $50,000, renewable every five years. Operators would be charged 10% tax. Half of the collected taxes will fund the district’s ‘Birth to three for all’ early childhood education program, with the other half funding the Commission on the Arts and Humanities. The general district would receive any additional funds.
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