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Legalized sports betting in DC? Council committee set to consider bill

FILE - In this March 15, 2018, file photo, a board displays odds for different bets on the NCAA college basketball tournament at the Westgate Superbook sports book, in Las Vegas. Proponents of legal sports gambling often point to Nevada as a model for effective monitoring. Sports betting has been legal in Las Vegas in some form since the 1930s. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

WASHINGTON — The Washington Redskins are currently 3-point favorites going into their game Sunday with Green Bay.

For action-thirsty fans, however, putting down money on the Burgundy and Gold means a drive to West Virginia, Delaware or New Jersey.

If Jack Evans and other members of the D.C. Council have their way, sports wagering could be as simple as opening an app or walking into a District hotel, bar or sports venue.

Evans — along with council members Mary Cheh, Brandon Todd and Vincent Gray — are proposing a measure that would put the District on a very short list of jurisdictions with legalized sports betting. (Mississippi and Nevada are also on that list.)

In a statement Tuesday, Evans said “this exciting new stream of revenue” should go to the District  instead of some other jurisdiction.

“The city should take advantage of our ability to act before the Maryland or Virginia legislatures to create a thriving sports betting market, which will attract consumers to the District,” he said.

Evans, who chairs the council’s Finance and Revenue Committee, worked with the D.C. Lottery in crafting the legislation to “maximize the revenue realized.” A portion of that revenue could help fund a D.C. childhood-wellness program.

“The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018” will be referred to Evans’ committee. Evans told WTOP that the public hearing will be held Oct. 17.

NBC Washington contributed to this report.


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