Washington, D.C. has had legalized sports betting for a very long time, but bettors are still not even close to being able to get in on the action. There have been plenty of roadblocks that have faced our nation’s capital in its quest to launch sports betting, and it looks like they are about to run into trouble again.
Sports betting fans in Washington, D.C. were hoping to be able to place bets on their beloved Redskins during the 2019 NFL season, but it is starting to look like sports betting won’t be launched until sometime in 2020.
Washington, D.C. moved quickly in legalizing sports betting after the Supreme Court lifted a federal ban, allowing states to come up with their own betting laws. A sports betting bill passed through relatively quickly as politicians in D.C. recognized the potential revenue that could be gained by legalizing the growing industry.
It looked as if everything was going smoothly and that D.C. would beat several other states to the punch and launch sports betting, but small issues have now turned into huge problems. The city is now facing a lawsuit that could shut down the entire process and force them to re-examine their process for approving applications and handing out bids to open up sportsbooks.
A lot of the previous issues have involved timing and trying to get some language figured out, but now there is the possibility of some legal trouble coming to D.C. A resident of Washington, D.C., has filed a complaint that could eventually turn into a lawsuit if things don’t go his way.
Dylan Carragher has filed his complaint challenging D.C.’s decision to award the sports betting contract to Intralot for what he is calling unfair business practices. The sports betting contract is worth $215 million and was awarded without a bid to the Greek company which already has control of the lottery in Washington, D.C.
Carragher is upset because he has been working on creating a sports betting app of his own, and he was not given a chance to put a bid in to be able to offer the app in Washington, D.C. It is believed that several other small business owners are going to join the fight with Carragher, and this will have a huge impact on the sports betting landscape in D.C.
There were some city council members who initially had some questions and concerns about the no-bid contract, and they appear to be ready to open the process back up.
Re-opening the bidding process is simply not an option in Washington, D.C., as it would void the contract that has been established with Intralot. Intralot is set to go live with sports betting, and their sports betting app, in January 2020, and the city would have to break that contract.
A judge could suspend the entire operation while things get figured out, and at this point, it seems like that might be the best solution. Sports betting does not seem likely in Washington D.C. anytime soon, and things keep getting more confusing by the day.