Sports gambling could soon be legalized in Washington, D.C., as Council member Jack Evans plans to introduce a bill, dubbed Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018, which would make such betting legal in the city, according to a report in The Washington Times.
“Today, we take the first steps towards capturing this exciting new stream of revenue, instead of watching District resident dollars fill the coffers of other jurisdictions,” Evans, Ward 2 Democrat, said in a press release.
“The District of Columbia will be the leader in a fast-growing industry. The city should take advantage of our ability to act before the Maryland or Virginia legislatures to create a thriving sports betting market, which will attract consumers to the District and generate revenue for District residents,” he added.
The Council member is getting support from his colleagues Mary Cheh, Vincent Gray, and Brandon Todd, who are co-introducing the bill with him. Evans is also proposing a share of gambling revenue be kept aside to fund programs of early childhood wellness in the city.
Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, and West Virginia have already moved to legalize sports betting in their respective states, after the Supreme Court in May turned down a federal law of 1992 which put restrictions on sports betting to limited locations. New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Maryland have also introduced bills to legalize betting in sports.
Today I will introduce the "Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018" during the Council's Committee of the Whole meeting. The legislation's purpose is to legalize sports betting in D.C. while creating strong regulatory structures that ensure consumer confidence. pic.twitter.com/zi4UBV4fvC
— Jack Evans (@JackEvansWard2) September 18, 2018