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NEWS 9 January 2019

Washington DC sports betting could "lose some months" through delay

By Tim Poole

The DC Council has delayed a decision on whether to award exclusive rights to offer a sports lottery in the city or to allow competitive bidding.

Sports betting was legalised in Washington DC in December, with a vote passing with 11 votes to two, but the American Gaming Association warned the DC lottery had been given a "virtual monopoly" of the mobile market.

DC Lottery officials have advocated skipping a bidding process and want to negotiate a contract directly with supplier Intralot, which currently operates its lottery.

The subsequent issue of whether to award the lottery contract to Intralot, or offer it out for competitive bidding, was put forward as an issue to be fast-tracked by the DC Council.

However, council members have put off a decision, which would allow time for the public to weigh in.

According to the Washington Post, council members have said this would "lose some months."

DC Lottery Executive Director Beth Bresnahan previously argued against a delay, suggesting DC could lose nearly $61m in sports betting revenue over several years if states such as Virginia and Maryland offer sports wagering first.

But the Council has ultimately opted to delay a decision, opening up the possibility of offering the lottery contract out for bids.

RELATED TAGS: Legal & Regulatory | Sports Betting
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