While the legalization of sports gambling in the District of Columbia is almost certain to become a reality in the near future, the regulatory regime that will govern this brand-new industry remains a mystery. The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 makes clear that oversight of sports gambling in the District of Columbia will be conducted by the Office of Lottery and Charitable Games, also known as the D.C. Lottery. The District of Columbia has further approved the current lottery provider Intralot to operate all wagering in the District.
Beyond the above, the rules and regulations that will govern sports wagering in the District of Columbia are unknown. The legislation that has been passed tasks the District’s Chief Financial Officer to adopt rules and regulations to govern sports gambling in the District. This promulgation of rules will likely be done with input from the D.C. Lottery itself and from other city agencies such as the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. The scope of this regulation regime will be broad and will cover an array of areas including:
- Acceptance of wagers on a sports event or a series of sports events;
- Maximum wagers that may be accepted by an operator from any one individual or on a sports event;
- Type of wagering tickets that may be used;
- Method of issuing tickets;
- Method of accounting to be used by an operator;
- Requirements relating to how fees and taxes are to be remitted, including whether the fees and taxes shall be required to be remitted electronically;
- Methods of age verification;
- Posting of house rules;
- Player exclusion requirements;
- Facilities to be used by operators;
- Types of records that shall be required to be maintained;
- Use of credit and checks;
- Type of system for sports wagering;
- Protections for an individual placing a wager;
- Requirements for training the employees of an operator concerning compulsive and problem gambling, and for displaying on an operator’s website and sports wagering facility information about available programs to prevent, treat, or monitor compulsive or problem gambling;
- Advertising guidelines, including specific language concerning minors; and
- Reporting of the sources of data that operators use to resolve sports wagers.
As you can see, the rules for the entire industry still need to be determined and codified. We will be watching for the District of Columbia to issue these new rules and regulations and will update with further analysis once they are issued. However, any person preparing to engage in the business of sports wagering should be mindful of the uncertainties that exist when making their plans.
Please feel free to contact Ian Thomas atJef Fagan at with any questions or interest about the industry.
ABOUT IAN THOMAS
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
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.
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