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D.C. Council greenlights expanded online sports betting

Washington, D.C., is expecting an enormous expansion of online sports betting soon, and new operators might appear in the market as early as next month. This follows the approval of the District’s budget for the financial year 2025 by Washington, D.C. Council, which includes provisions for up to seven online sports betting businesses.

Currently, FanDuel is the only licensed operator for online sports betting in all districts of Washington, D.C., in partnership with the lottery and Intralot. But this situation might not last for long, as the new fiscal year budget has provisions for issuing more licences to other companies. This would open up more competition in the market, which could shift the status quo starting in July, as shown above. However, it has yet to be approved by Mayor Muriel Bowser and is also awaiting congressional review for 30 days before it becomes official.

The biggest highlight of the budget is an introduction to Type-C licenses, enabling sports franchises in the district to partner with betting firms for online sports betting. To obtain these licenses, franchises must have 90% of the home games within the district, and this means that teams such as the Washington Capitals, Nationals, and Wizards meet this requirement. It costs $2 million to acquire a Type-C license for a validity of 5 years, while the renewal fee is $1 million. Furthermore, the actualization of these licenses will attract a tax of 30% on the gross gaming revenue.

Currently, there are only three partnerships between sports franchises and betting operators in Washington D.C. These partnerships include Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel, and BetMGM, having physical sportsbooks at Capital One Arena, Audi Field, and Nationals Park, respectively. However, these operators are restricted to offering online betting only to customers within a two-block radius of their retail locations, making them not as accessible as the best sports betting sites USA.

The recent move by the council to allow the expansion of the type of licenses to be issued in the sports betting business was triggered by budget discussions that Kenyan McDuffie, a council member, instigated. This change was introduced due to the proposed Sports Wagering Amendment Act he had put in the budget. By doing this, the council did not play by the rules of regulation and showed concern about ramping up the city’s betting capacity.

As part of the discussions, it was revealed that both Fanatics Sportsbook and DraftKings have expressed interest in the newly opened licenses. On the social media platform X, DraftKings shared their enthusiasm by thanking the council members for this decision and focusing on introducing their mobile sportsbook product to Washington, D.C., sports fans.

Moreover, McDuffie introduced a budget amendment to ensure the presence of sports betting kiosks in the D.C. sports betting system. The council passed this with a 10 to 1 majority to approve the county’s motion. The amendment enables FanDuel to have its kiosks located at different facilities within the city, provided that the company honors its current agreement with the lottery to place these kiosks.

The growth of sports betting in Washington D.C. has been fast, mainly after online betting through Intralot’s GambetDC in May 2020. However, since it was not very effective, this platform ceased in April of this year. As for the future, the district has transitioned to a new platform that involves FanDuel and possibly other operators, suggesting that the betting offer is growing and diversified in the region. This can be considered a new era for Washington, D.C., in terms of sports wagering.

David Bright

David Bright joined Times of Casino as a news writer focused on the casino industry. He holds a bachelor degree in Economics and Accounting and currently contributing in-depth news articles. David writes on the casinos, gambling legislation, poker, and much more.

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