Updated on November 13, 2019
The District of Columbia approved a sports wagering bill just before the end of 2018. The new law will allow legal sports betting both online and at specified venues.
The law was approved by Mayor Muriel Bowser on Jan 23, 2019, and after the statutory 60 day review period review by Congress, the bill became law. The first legal sportsbooks in Washington D.C. could be available by late 2019, and a mobile sports betting option is likely to come in time for March Madness.
The DC Lottery will have monopoly control over online and mobile betting throughout the District. There will be a single app that sports bettors can use to lay bets anywhere within the confines of the Washington D.C. borders.
Other venues may introduce their own sports betting apps but they may only be used on the premises. DC has no licensed casinos, so venues will be restricted to kiosks inside licensed bars, restaurants, and sporting stadiums.
Not only will the DC Lottery be the operator, but it will also be the regulator of online sports betting. The DC Lottery and its supplier Intralot will provide the sports betting platform.
City council members were taken to court over their decision to award the District’s only sports gambling contract to Intralot. In order to expedite the process to launch a mobile sports betting app in Washington D.C., District officials went with a no-bid selection process. A resident of the city, who developed a mobile sports betting platform himself, filed a lawsuit claiming that decision was a direct violation of the Home Rule Act. The case was ultimately dismissed, but it pushed back the potential launch date for mobile sports betting apps in Washington D.C. to early 2020.
The legal age for sports betting in DC is 18. That is the age for both online and land-based sportsbooks.
Washington D.C. Sports Betting FAQs
What kind of sports betting apps are there in Washington D.C.?
As of right now, Washington D.C. sports betting apps have not launched. The District will more than likely welcome large players in the sports wagering industry like DraftKings, FanDuel, and William Hill.
What restrictions are there on online sports betting in Washington D.C.?
As far as restrictions go, you will not have to worry about bans on collegiate betting or in-person registration. However, you will not be able to use Washington D.C. sports betting apps if you are within two blocks of a professional sports stadium or at a federally registered park.
When will Washington D.C. sportsbooks launch?
Now that the case against Washington D.C. sports betting has dismissed, the regulatory process can resume. The earliest sportsbooks can open in the area is either at the end of 2019 to early 2020.