Politicians in Washington DC have voted to permit the legalization of sports betting in the US capital, making it the latest state to join the sports betting club, and notably, the first state without casinos to legalize betting on sport.
A sports betting bill was passed by an 11-2 vote score on Wednesday, and although it will still require the signature of Mayor Muriel Bowser to become law, she is not considered likely to veto it.
The bill, entitled The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of DC will make both retail and mobile betting on professional sports legal within the city of Washington, through mobile apps, a collection of four listed city stadiums, and some private venues including restaurants.
Speaking about the new law, council member Jack Evans said that he was looking forward to the state joining those other US territories where sports betting was legal:
“We’re venturing into new territory with sports gaming. I’m very excited that the District will be out of the box if this passes today.”
Greece-based company Intralot, which currently runs the Washington DC lottery, will be given oversight of sports betting in the state, and permission to sell licences to sportsbooks. City arenas in the Washington DC area and sports stadiums will have the opportunity to buy five-year licences for a cost of $250,000, while private venues and stores will pay $5,000 for a two-year licence.
According to City officials, operators will have to pay ten percent tax on their revenues, which is at the lower end of the scale among states where sports betting is legal. Washington DC government hopes to raise as much as $92 million in tax revenues from the new legal sports betting sector.
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