Washington DC Councilman introduces sports betting legislation

Washington DC Councilman introduces sports betting legislation

Thursday, September 20, 2018 Posted by News Team
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Bill would set 10% gross revenue tax for operators, who must pay $50,000 fee for 5-year licence

The US capital may become the latest jurisdiction to regulate sports betting after Councilman Jack Evans introduced the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 at a meeting on Tuesday.

The proposed legislation, B22-0944, aims to allow the Washington, District of Columbia Office of Lottery and Gaming to regulate both online and land-based sports betting. It does so by amending the Law to Legalise Lotteries, Daily Number Games, Bingo and Raffles for Charitable Purposes to add sports wagering to the list of products allowed.

Operators will be able to apply for a sports betting licence provided they pay a $50,000 application fee, with each licence running for five years. Suppliers and service providers will also be required to secure licences, paying a $10,000 application fee for an annual licence, which then must be renewed for a $2,000 annual fee. 

The DC Lottery may also enter the sports wagering market, paying a $5,000 fee for a two-year licence.

Operators will be subject to a 10% tax on sports wagering gross revenue, which is to be paid on a monthly basis. Of this tax revenue, 50% will go to its Birth-to-Three For All DC Amendment Act of 2018, an initiative to provide social support for children, with the other 50% going to the Commission on the Arts and Humanities. 

The bill’s main sponsor, Councilman Evans, said that with sports betting available on the District of Columbia’s borders at the Hollywood Casino in Charleston, West Virginia, his legislation would ensure that Washington, DC could directly benefit from the repeal of PASPA in May.

“Today, we take the first steps towards capturing this exciting new stream of revenue, instead of watching District resident dollars fill the coffers of other jurisdictions,” Evans said. “The District of Columbia will be the leader in a fast-growing industry. 

“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 and generate revenue for District residents.”

The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 has been referred to the Committee on Finance and Revenue for further scrutiny. Its chances of passing into law hinge on it being discussed at a full Council meeting, with these meetings likely to take place once, and at most twice, a month. It must appear on the agenda of at least two of the maximum six meetings before the end of 2018.

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