Legal sports betting in DC won’t be ready for start of football season

The hope was that the debut of legal sports betting at brick-and-mortar locations in D.C. would coincide with football’s season opener on Sept. 5, but that won’t happen after all.

D.C.’s Office of Lottery and Gaming confirmed that things have been delayed by a few weeks. It plans to begin accepting applications for sports gaming licenses in September.

Applications for provisional licenses could be approved in 30-45 days, while the process of approving standard licenses could take as long as three to six months.

The Office of Lottery and Gaming has yet to adopt the final rules that will govern legal sports gambling in the city.

In a statement emailed to WTOP, the Office of Lottery and Gaming said it is “committed to establishing a solid regulatory framework that fosters public confidence and trust in the integrity of sports wagering operations in the D.C.”

The office also said it is working to incorporate sports wagering industry standards to make sure D.C. has a workable model for those seeking a gambling license.

Meanwhile, a group of bars that have banded together under the name Bet DC in hopes of getting Class B gaming licenses is still working toward that goal.

Jeff Ifrah, a lawyer who leads Bet DC, said the change in timeline does not affect their plans. They have group meeting with lottery officials scheduled for later this month.

The projected launch date for the city’s new sports betting app has not changed; it’s still set for early 2020.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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Latest News | Local News | Washington, DC News

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