Sports Betting in DC Unlikely in Time for Super Bowl

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With just three weeks to go until the biggest day in sports betting, it's looking less likely that Super Bowl bets will be placed in the District this year.

The fastest way to get approved for a provisional license in D.C. is to work with a sports betting provider that's already operational in another approved gaming jurisdiction.

Capital One Arena, the only venue to apply for a license so far, is working with American Wagering, a division of the British bookmaker William Hill. The arena plans to locate a sportsbook inside the old Green Turtle location, which is currently under construction.

A mobile app would be the fastest to get up and running, especially since the company already has one, but DC Lottery told the I-Team Monday the physical retail sports betting location has to be up and running before the app can operate.

Capital One Arena also has yet to file to add sports betting to its alcohol license.

Thirty small businesses have already filed for that part of the process, but none of those has applied for its sports betting license yet. 

"Even if the DC Lottery worked super quickly on reviewing those applications, there's no way they were going to get them done before the Super Bowl, and at that point, applicants are sort of dismayed," said Jeff Ifrah of Bet DC. "Should we really even bother, or should we wait?"

Small Business Requests to Add Sports Betting in DC

As of Jan. 8, 30 small businesses have applied to D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration for a change of use to allow sports betting on site. These would operate under the District’s Class B sports betting provisions and would still need to approved by the DC Lottery.

Source: News4 I-team
Credit: Anisa Holmes/NBCWashington

There is a better chance to place bets for March Madness. The DC Lottery aims to have its District-wide app up and running by the beginning of March.

Capital One Arena filed for a "Class A" provisional sports betting license Dec. 23. DC Lottery said the application review is expected to take 30 to 45 days.

The “Class A” designation is reserved for D.C.’s four major sporting venues, including Audi Field, Nationals Park, and the Entertainment and Sports Arena.

Capital One Arena's sportsbook will be open to people 21 and older, even though D.C. law allows anyone 18 or older to play the lottery or bet on sports.

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