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DC bill that would legalize sports betting moves forward

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 — What are the odds that D.C.’s football team would lose two quarterbacks to broken legs this season?

Betting money on that or the outcome of any sporting event now is closer to being legal in the District.

The D.C. Council action Tuesday that moved the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 forward had two dissenting votes: Council members Brianne Nadeau and David Grosso.

“People believe that we’re going to have millions and millions and millions of dollars in windfall,” Grosso said. “And I just don’t think that’s going to happen.”

He also has philosophical objections.

“Even though people say they’re going to be attracting the wealthy bettors and the wealthy gamblers … the fact of the matter is that we know time and time again that this has a severe impact on the people that most are unable to afford it,” Grosso said.

Final details the council expects to sort out within the next two weeks before a final vote include whether one or multiple mobile apps will be allowed and whether vendors will be required to give a percentage of their business to D.C. minority-owned businesses.

A final vote on whether D.C. legalizes gambling on sports takes place on Dec. 18.


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