The D.C. Council approved sports betting in a final vote on the matter on Tuesday, making the capital the first place in the region to approve gambling on professional sports teams.
A bill Mayor Muriel Bowser is expected to sign allows the city to bypass the bidding process to give its contract to Intralot, the operator of the D.C. Lottery. This would give the D.C. Lottery the role of being the District’s sole gaming operator.
WTOP, NBC Washington’s news partner, reported that the bill would give Intralot the authority to run the only mobile platform for sports betting. Residents could place a bet online from anywhere.
The District is the first jurisdiction in the D.C. area to allow sports betting, joining the legalization trend in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and West Virginia.
The measure passed in an 8-4 vote, with Council members Brianne Nadeau, Robert White, Elissa Silverman and David Grosso voting against it.
Grosso spoke against the bill, citing financial service company Moody’s report on the “high credit risk” of Intralot.
“I will be voting against this bill once again,” he said. “[This is] a vote against Intralot's rating downgrade, a vote against streamlining a tax of the poor and a vote against pay-to-play behavior. And I urge my colleagues to do the same.”