After a number of delays in the launch of legal sports betting for Washington D.C., the District of Columbia was finally expected to see legal sports betting begin by the end of March of this year. Well, the time has come and yet another issue has caused another delay.
Legal sports betting in Washington D.C. is on the backburner yet again as the nation’s capital will wait until the majority of major sporting events resume before unveiling its legal sports betting product.
The D.C. Lottery is in charge of overseeing and regulating sports betting in the capital. According to a D.C. Lottery spokesperson, “the Lottery’s sports wagering mobile and web platforms are tested and ready to go live”[https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/sports/article/21125383/the-coronavirus-pandemic-delays-dcs-sports-betting-launch]. In a normal circumstance where all of the world’s sporting events are running as normal, “these platforms would be launched tomorrow”.
The most recent postponement of the launch of legal sports betting is yet another revenue loss for the District of Columbia. Sports betting was legalized back in December of 2018 and more than 15 months later they are still without any legal sportsbook available to bettors.
Washington D.C.’s goal of getting ahead of neighboring states like Maryland and Virginia will still be met. Neither state currently has legal sports betting. However, both are working on making that happening sooner than later.
It is unknown how long the current sports hiatus will last or how long D.C. will go without launching its sportsbook. A D.C. Lottery spokesperson said, “the Lottery and Intralot are prepared to launch the platform when it is safe for the sports world to return”.
William Hill is currently waiting for licensing in D.C. to operate their online sportsbook. William Hill could potentially be licensed and ready to launch their sportsbook in D.C. by the time the D.C. Lottery launches their sportsbook.