Lawmakers Pushing For Legal Sports Betting In Washington D.C., Possibly With Mobile Betting Before Retail

The post Lawmakers Pushing For Legal Sports Betting In Washington D.C., Possibly With Mobile Betting Before Retail appeared first on SportsHandle.

Legal sports betting may be coming to the District of Columbia (District), a development made clear at a public hearing on Wednesday by Councilmember Jack Evans (Ward 2), Chairman of the D.C. Council’s Finance & Revenue Committee.

The hearing occurred roughly one month after Evans and five colleagues submitted the sports betting bill — B22-0944, the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018.

“It’s my view that over the course of the next several years, sports betting will be legal across the country,” Evans said in opening remarks, adding that he wants the District to move soon toward passage to avoid falling behind Maryland and other neighbors, as it did with tradition casino gambling. Right now, Evans said, Maryland properties such as the MGM National Harbor are attracting large amounts of patrons from D.C. and tax dollars that could benefit the District.

DC Council Leaders Pushing For Bill Sports Betting, So Bets Can Be Taken Early in 2019; Some Details Still Need Ironing


By way of background, the law as-is calls for:

  • The regulating body to be the D.C.’s Office of Lottery and Gaming, which currently oversees the city’s lottery;
  • Sports betting would be taxed at 10 percent of gross revenue;
  • The city would charge a $50,000 licensing fee;
  • Athletes, coaches and game officials would be prohibited from placing sports bets; and
  • Tax revenue would be split equally between early childhood education programs and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. If those programs are fully funded, any surplus dollars would go into the city’s general fund.
  • All types of wagering would be permitted: single-game wagers, parlays, teasers, in-game wagering, pools, exchange wagering, propositions and so forth.

Key issues that arose during this hearing:

  • Who should be allowed to get licensed to operate a sportsbook? Both DraftKings and FanDuel officials had the opportunity to address this, and emphasized that more competition, from the likes of both established companies, would mean more revenue for the district, more competition, meaning better products and consumer protections as the better operators would rise to the top;
  • There was frequent reference to New Jersey’s emerging market: Mobile sports betting revenue has already exceeded brick-and-mortar sportsbook wagers;
  • The DFS-turned-sportsbook operators are concerned that running sports betting solely through the D.C. Lottery, which would outsource operations to a company like IGT or Scientific Games, would not foster competition, and thus encourage a stagnant market that ultimately might depress revenues. Also, fewer options for consumers. They pointed to Delaware as an example, which has a contract with Scientific Games, which has contracted William Hill for risk-management.
  • The D.C. Lottery representative, Beth Bresnahan, offered a counterargument here, saying that the Lottery is well-equipped to handle sports wagering.
  • The Lottery is also looking to launch first with mobile/online offerings, then transition to retail offerings — a clear contrast with every other state to legalize sports wagering so far.  D.C. is also in a unique position to do this: there are no commercial or tribal casinos in D.C., nor any pari-mutuel options.
  • One witness noted that in West Virginia, the state Lottery is tasked with regulatory oversight of sports wagering licensees: all five state casinos are licensed (or in the process) and to our knowledge, the lottery itself is not yet offering sports betting-style games.
  • Bresnahan noted that there’s about 1 million people in the District that could join the legal market.  She said that in terms of putting together a responsible gaming monitoring and capturing dollars for to DC, the Lottery is in best position to do that.

As usual, the National Basketball Association objected to the absence of certain provisions in this law, and enumerated the provisions desired by the NBA as well as fellow pro leagues Major League Baseball and the PGA Tour.

Read the full post – Lawmakers Pushing For Legal Sports Betting In Washington D.C., Possibly With Mobile Betting Before Retail at SportsHandle.

Get a Grip: The Week in Sports Betting & Sports: House Hearing And Beyond

 

It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad).

Here’s the weekend Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top stories, and rounding up key stories in sports betting, gaming, and the world of sports at large. You may have missed them, and they are worth reading.

Final Thoughts on House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on Sports Betting


Read more Get a Grip: The Week in Sports Betting & Sports: House Hearing And Beyond on SportsHandle.

AGA, NFL May Have More in Common Than It Appears

 

As the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations prepares to host a hearing on Thursday titled “Post-PASPA: An Examination of Sports Betting in America,” a question comes to mind: As key sports betting stakeholders, including the American Gaming Association, individual states and lawmakers, casino operators and others push back against a “federal framework” for sports wagering, while the NFL and several other pro leagues lobby in favor, do the two sides have anything in common?

It appears they do.

And, according to AGA senior vice president of public affairs Sara Slane, the two sides have more in common than you might think. In fact, Slane thinks the professional leagues, the NFL in particular, and her group are “90 percent aligned.”

 

Read more AGA, NFL May Have More in Common Than It Appears on SportsHandle.

Nevada Representative Dina Titus to Congress: No Need to Reinvent Wheel on Sports Betting

The post Nevada Representative Dina Titus to Congress: No Need to Reinvent Wheel on Sports Betting appeared first on SportsHandle.

Nevada Representative Dina Titus (NV-1) has been on record many times reiterating her distaste for a federal framework for sports betting. After all, the state of Nevada has had legal casino-style gaming, including sports betting, since 1949. With nearly 70 years of experience under its belt, Nevada doesn’t need any (or want) any input from, well, novices. As the old saying goes, if ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 

“I don’t think it’s a very good idea, it’s reinventing the wheel,” Titus told Sports Handle on Tuesday. “Nevada has been doing this for a long time and we do it very well. You’re going to have to start from whole cloth if you start from the federal level. The more states that move into this, and there are five already, the less appetite there would be for a federal framework.”

But with just about a month remaining in the current Congressional session, mid-term elections looming in November, and much bigger fish to fry — the Kavanaugh hearings, balancing the budget, settling the latest version of the farm bill — Congress is again dipping its toes into the world of sports betting.

Read more Nevada Representative Dina Titus to Congress: No Need to Reinvent Wheel on Sports Betting on SportsHandle.