The launch of sports betting in our nation’s capital will be delayed, with a new launch date unknown. Unlike other states that have had to delay the start of sports betting due to a slow-moving process, it appeared that DC was ready to launch on March 31.
Instead, DC will not launch sports betting as the sports world is currently shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The DC Lottery will oversee the new sports betting industry upon launch, but they have partnered with IntraLot to run the actual online sportsbooks. Intralot was awarded the sports betting contract without submitting a bid, which caused some controversy from district lawmakers.
Intralot has tested its online sports betting site and mobile app, and everything will be ready to go when sports come back.
Over the last few weeks, even more lawmakers have expressed concern over how sports betting will be offered by Intralot. That company currently operates the sports betting industry in the state of Montana, and things have not gone well.
Intralot has set betting lines that are not comparable to most of the betting lines set by other sportsbooks. All sports betting will be done online or through mobile devices at the outset, although a further delay could allow other sports betting companies to be ready to go when the district goes live.
Besides Intralot operating the online sportsbooks in Washington DC, there are also two other types of licenses that are available. An A Class license is available for the four major sporting arenas and venues in the district. Those licenses will cost $250,000 and will be good for up to five years before they must be renewed.
Class B licenses are available for hotels, bars, and restaurants in the area that are willing to offer sports betting. Those licenses will initially cost $50,000 and are also good for five years.
There are currently just three bars that have gone through the initial process to be authorized to offer sports betting when the industry goes live.
Other Sports Betting Companies Submitting Applications
William Hill Sportsbook is the only sports betting company that has currently submitted an application. Sportradar and Scientific Games have also submitted applications, but they will not be operating a sportsbook, rather providing data and information to operators in the market.
William Hill has formed a partnership with Capital One Arena, and they are expected to launch a sportsbook on-site at that location. They have yet to receive their license but are expected to be approved by the beginning of May. This delay in the launch of sports betting in DC could have William Hill ready to go by Day 1.