DC Lottery Should Move Into Sports Betting and Here's Why

Publish: 28.10.2018
Since PASPA was struck down by the Supreme Court in May this year, state authorities have tried to create their own gambling laws to grab a share of the huge revenues in the industry. Washington D.C. is one of the latest entrants in the group of states that are pushing for gambling and sports betting regulation. However, the state’s eagerness to start gambling as soon as possible could wreak havoc in the competitive landscape.

D.C. Councilman Jack Evans’ bill for gambling and sports betting regulation in the state will enable both residents and visitors to engage with both land-based and online gambling activities. However, the bill provides a de facto monopoly on online sports betting to the D.C. Lottery. The role of the Lottery will be both of an operator and a regulator. Interestingly, the state intends to pass the bill and send it to Congress for consideration before the next baseball season begins to make the most of the sports wagering opportunities.

The Lottery’s role as a regulator will help in letting sports betting establish itself in the DC marketplace. However, if it simultaneously competes with other operators, it could create troubles in the system. Evans’ bill will help the state become more competitive alongside Virginia and Maryland, but unless a free market operates in the region, it would be difficult to work in favor of the customers truly.

By allowing private players to operate in the state, the Lottery will focus solely on its regulatory duties. As more companies enter the market, there will be more growth in the market along with better job creation. Online sports betting will be bringing a large share of revenue to DC as it is convenient, easy to access and provides real-time betting as compared to physical sportsbooks.

Allowing online operators in the DC market will help in growing its revenues. As in the case of Nevada and New Jersey, people prefer online sportsbooks because of their sheer convenience. In New Jersey, which has recently opened its doors to sports betting, the online sportsbook will overshadow physical sportsbooks by the end of the year.

Consumers in DC will also demand more choice as the state gambling market goes live. There are hundreds of gambling and online sportsbook operators that would like to compete in DC to get the viewer’s attention. Different sportsbooks offer different specialties and may support different types of bets.  Eventually, it will benefit the users as well as the state.