Sports Betting Licensing to Begin Tuesday in Washington D.C.

Land-based casino operators, online gaming operators and lottery groups across the United States are beginning to offer sports betting services. Since May 2018, the sports betting industry has grown considerably in the nation, with more new operations set to get started soon. Even the nation’s capital is getting in on the action. Washington D.C. will begin to take applications for the licensing process on Tuesday as operators, suppliers and management service provides have access to online application forms.

Application Process

Starting on Tuesday, the capital city of the US will open the online application process for sports betting regarding operators of services, suppliers of software and management service providers. For operational licensing, which includes employees of sports betting providers, the process will not begin until January 2020.

For those who are ready for sports betting, the launch date remains undetermined. It has been estimated that it may take just a few months or even six before companies are ready to get started with gaming options. According to the Office of Lottery and Gaming, the timeline for licensing will vary based on the complexity of the operations as proposed.

Issues to Tackle

Washington D.C. is a bit different than individual states so the process may take longer to complete before sports betting is up and running. One of the toughest issues for the region will most likely be geolocation. For every state that offers online gambling, be it casino, poker or sports betting, geolocation plays a factor.

Each region must ensure that those who are taking part in the online gambling option are doing so within a set perimeter. For D.C., the betting will be offered in a city location rather than statewide. The DC Lottery will be offering sports betting in their district, with Intralot at the helm. Retailers will be able to offer services online via a mobile application.

The app can be used anywhere within the district, except for federally owned land. It is also void within a two-block radius of a Class A gaming facility. Intralot has stated that the online component of sports betting will be ready by early next year.

In the region, four sports arenas have the ability to offer sports betting with their Class A licensing. This would include Capital One Arena, who has already stated they plan on offering services. The venue is owned by Monumental Sports, who signed an agreement with William Hill earlier in the year to offer sports betting services.

For those who have Class B licensing, there will be no limit. This license can be awarded to a business that wants to offer sports betting, if the business is not solely a sports betting operator. They can also only offer mobile sports betting and not a retail location. The business must also offer online sports betting within the physical footprint of the facility and not allow sports betting to fall within an ineligible area.

For now, the process is rolling along and it will be interesting to see how the region provides gaming since they are a district rather than a state. Washington D.C. will most likely be the only individual region where sports betting is allowed that is not a state.

Once the licensing process begins, it is expected that more details will be provided as to who is applying as well as how long the licensing process will take.


Our in-house expert for all things regulation, Jackson covers all major recent developments across US states relating to gambling laws & legislation.