Is An Open Sports Betting Market in Washington DC Coming?

Open Sports Betting Market in Washington DC – What You need to KnowYesterday, lawmakers in Washington DC were discussing a bill that would expand the DC Sports Betting Market. The bill in question is B25-0753 and is also known as the “Sports Wagering Amendment Act of 2024.” If the bill passes, the impact would be an Open Sports Betting Market in Washington DC allowing for more competition.

While no vote took place, they were plenty of testimonies in front of council members who will vote on it.

At the moment, only FanDuel is able to offer online sports betting in Washington DC. They were able to achieve this by becoming a subcontractor of Intralot which is a contractor of the DC lottery. In simple terms, Intralot has the online sports betting monopoly in DC thanks to a contract with the DC Lottery.

In-person sportsbooks, like BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook are able to operate. However, they can only do so in professional sports venues and a 2-block area around them. For those who support a free sports betting market, Washington DC is not it.

However, this is exactly what D.C. Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie’s bill aims to break. He has been a proponent of a more competitive market since 2019 and the one that filed Bill B25-0753.

Now that the contract with Intralot will expire this summer, it is the perfect time for a change. Hence the talks about Bill B25-0753 which would open the market.

An Open Sports Betting Market in Washington DC – What You need to Know

Essentially, Bill B252-0753 would create a Class C betting operator to the mix. The new Class C license would allow professional sports teams to partner with online sportsbook operators for district-wide sports betting. Thus, it would break the monopoly held by Intralot and FanDuel by allowing other online sportsbooks to operate in DC.

If it passes here are the major changes that would happen:

  • Class A license holder would pay 20% of their monthly Gross Gaming Revenue instead of 10%
  • The initial Class A licensing fee would go up to $1 million for the 5-year license
  • The Renewal Fee for Class A license would go up to $500,000
  • The New Class C license would have to pay 30% in Gross Gaming Revenue
  • A Class C Licenses would have a $2 million fee for a 5-year license
  • The renewal fee for a Class C license would be $1 million

While this is an opportunity for a more open and versatile online betting market in DC, not everyone is onboard. The main reason is of course, the increase in taxes and fees to open and operate an online sportsbook.

For example, Caesars Palace is currently operating under a Class A License in Washington D.C. While they would love to get in on the mobile betting action, they have concerns over the tax structure. They said they are not against paying a 20% tax on online sports betting instead of the current 10%. However, the idea of paying a 20% tax rate on their GGR will be difficult. Especially since they already spent $10 million into a physical sportsbook.

Is This an Opportunity for a Pay Per Head Sportsbook to Enter Washington DC?

Realistically speaking, most bookies and smaller online sportsbooks will not be able to compete if bill B25-0753 passes. The main reason is because most bookies are smaller operations that do not have million of dollars to spare.

While a Sportsbook Pay Per Head Software greatly reduces operating cost, a betting license in DC is still too expensive. Thus, while Bill B25-0753 will open the sports betting market in Washington DC, it will be only for big corporation.

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