Emergency measure for sports betting in DC withdrawn by Council

At a meeting on Tuesday, DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson withdrew an emergency measure that would have fast-tracked sports betting in DC.

The piece of emergency legislation would have granted the DC Lottery operator, Intralot, a contract to operate sports betting in the district without having to go through a bidding process.

DC Lottery CFO Jeff DeWitt made a request to discuss the emergency legislation at Tuesday’s Council meeting.

However, when the legislation was called at the meeting Mendelson withdrew it almost immediately without any discussion. Mendelson said that he will hold a hearing on the issue of the DC Lottery being granted a monopoly over mobile sports betting in DC.

Last week DeWitt’s office sent a memo to the DC Council arguing the case for implementing the emergency legislation.

The memo read: “This new contract is essential to implementing sports wagering and modernizing the DC Lottery.

“The Cost of Delays are significant. Issuing a competitive request for proposals for this contract is estimated to take up to three years, causing a substantial delay in implementation of the recently-approved sports wagering legislation.

“The OCFO’s Office of Revenue Analysis estimates the delay will cost the District $60.9m in sports wagering revenues over the FY 2019-2022 financial plan period.”

Although DC legalized sports betting on 18 December 2018, the mayor has yet to sign off on the legislation.

Once the mayor signs off on the legislation, the DC Lottery, the regulatory body for sports betting in DC, will be able to begin preparing for the launch of sports betting and start work on creating regulations.

When looking at the region, DC is still leading the sports betting charge when compared to Maryland and Virginia.

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