D.C. Sports Betting Bill Would Allow Sportsbooks in Professional Sports Arenas

D.C. Sports Betting Bill Would Allow Sportsbooks in Professional Sports Arenas

By Jill R. Dorson | Published: November 30, 2018 at 4:53 pm

If the sports betting bill that’s currently on the table in Washington, D.C. is approved as written on Tuesday, the District will be on the cutting edge of sports betting — the bill allows for five professional sports stadiums in Washington to have 24-hour-a-day sportsbooks that are open to the public.

According to Councilman Jack Evans, the plan is to allow professional sports teams to open sportsbooks at Nationals Park (MLB), Audi Stadium (MLS), CapitalOne Arena (NBA and NHL), the Wizards practice facility and the yet-to-be approved/opened RFK Stadium (NFL).

The sportsbooks would be open to the public, with no ticket to a game required, and patrons would be able to place sports bets at any time. The locations will be referred to as “sports betting parlors.”

“The professional venues are clearly a real big market for everyone because everyone who goes the game wants to bet,” Evans said in an interview with Sports Handle on Friday. “My understanding is that the facilities, either leased or owned by the pro teams, are going to build (sports) betting parlors.”

The concept is relatively new — only the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders have dipped their toes into the idea of having a sportsbook on site. While gambling is currently prohibited at sporting venues in Las Vegas, the Raiders have partnered with Caesars Entertainment, and Becky Harris, chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, told the Las Vegas Journal-Review in November that if gaming proposals for sports venues — sports betting or otherwise — are brought to her attention, she’ll “assess them on their merits.”

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