Legal Blog

You Bet!: A Guide to the Legalization of Sports Gambling in the District of Columbia – Part 2

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Geography

Location, location, location are the three words that drive the decision about where to open a business, and in deciding where to set up a sportsbook this is no exception. The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 restricts the geographic location in which a sportsbook can be physically located.  While the licensing regime set forth in the law will be discussed in more detail in future posts, the law provides two tiers operators licenses: Class A and Class B. Class A licenses will be issued only to the operator of a sports wagering facility located in one of the four major sports venues in the District of Columbia: Capitol One Arena (formerly the Verizon Center); Nationals Park; Audi Field; and Saint Elizabeth East Entertainment and Sports Arena. The law provides an exclusivity zone to each Class A licensee by prohibiting any other sports wagering facility from opening within a two-block radius.

All other operators’ licenses are categorized as Class B, and the rest of the city remains open to Class B licensees.  There are presently no other location restrictions contained in the legislation that was passed by the City Council.  However, there may be additional geographic restrictions that are contained in the regulations that are ultimately enacted by the D.C. Lottery, which is the administrative agency that has been tasked with implementation and oversight of the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act.

Moreover, those interested in participating in the sports betting industry should note that the new legislation does not only contemplate the existence of brick and mortar sportsbooks.  The law expressly anticipates electronic sportsbook options that can be used online and on mobile devices.  As such, while certain areas of the city have been carved out for D.C.’s major sports venues, there are limitless opportunities for both physical and electronic or mobile sportsbooks in the District of Columbia.

Please feel free to contact Ian Thomas at ithomas@offitkurman.com or Jef Fagan at jfagan@offitkurman.com  with any questions or interest about the industry.

 

ABOUT IAN THOMAS

ithomas@offitkurman.com | 202-900-8592

Ian Thomas is an attorney in Offit Kurman’s Commercial Litigation practice group.  Ian likes to apply a “think-outside-the-box” approach to litigation, through which he seeks to find creative ways to resolve each legal issue that his clients face.  In applying this approach, Ian is able to identify a diverse and cost-effective set of options to resolve any legal problem that his clients encounter.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT JAMES E. FAGAN

jfagan@offitkurman.com | 301.575.0386

James (“Jef”) Edward Fagan, III is a seasoned litigator and counselor with over twenty-five years of experience as a practicing attorney. He has represented both small and large companies and has spent one half of his career as in-house counsel to two large governmental entities. He brings a mature and measured approach to legal matters, and his primary objective is the prompt and efficient resolution of disputes and legal concerns. Jef’s core practice areas are labor and employment, commercial litigation, government contracts and education law.

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN

Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the mid-Atlantic region. With over 185 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our twelve offices serve individual and corporate clients along the I95 corridor in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City regions. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.

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