Washington DC has taken a significant step closer to opening up a legal sports betting sector thanks to the publication of a new bill penned by DC Council member Jack Evans. Support is strong for Evans’ proposals, with most of the 13-strong council giving their backing, including chairman Phil Mendelson.
Key to the bill is a measure to allow mobile sports betting, which will be essential given that Washington currently has no casinos or similar gambling venues to host a traditional sportsbook environment. Evans has clearly taken notice of the experiences of Nevada and New Jersey which both allow mobile wagering and have been successful in doing so.
Evans has also avoided any reference to the introduction of an integrity fee in his bill and, crucially, has suggested that sports betting should be taxed at 10 per cent of gross revenue on a monthly basis. The aim here is, evidently, to avoid frightening off potential operators as has happened in Pennsylvania with its 33 per cent tax rate.
While Washington DC is effectively a city/district – and not part of any state – its council operates in much the same way as most other state legislatures. Hence it has the capacity to introduce legal sports betting following the strike down of PASPA.
In support of his bill, Evans stated by way of acknowledgement that state after state will amend their laws to include legal sports betting and that the public accepts forms of gambling such as lotteries and internet sports wagering. As such, he told the Washington Post: “…it’s important to amend the law to reflect the Supreme Court’s actions.”