D.C. Sports Betting Legislation Hits A Snag

There has been a lot of attention and buzz around the idea of whether sports betting should be regulated federally or by states, and Washington D.C. is no exception, given the fact that it is the capital of the United States. The D.C. Council legalized sports betting in December of last year.

However, while some believed that the D.C. Council would fast-track the decision, meaning that sports betting would immediately start generating revenues in the area – that doesn’t appearto be the case.

Different Opinions

Various D.C. Council members indicated that this was not an emergency by any means, and that the public should be allowed time to weigh in on the situation. Mary M. Cheh, a Democrat, pointed out that it was better to wait to make the most informed decision, despite the fact that “we would lose some months”.

Others seemed to agree more that speed was necessary, but still acknowledged that the public has a role to play. Councilwoman Anita Bonds said that even though many of the opinions of the council members were solidified, that wasn’t necessarily the case for the residents in the area. With time, “atleast the public will have had an opportunity to understand where we are coming from,” she said.

More Pressure

The D.C. Lottery Executive Director Beth Bresnahan has sent a letter to the D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) that tried to imply that delaying the decision was the wrong move, and could be costly. She wrote Mendelson that if the process wasn’t fast-tracked, it could cost the region as much as $61 million.

Elissa Silverman was vocal about the fact that it seemed that the public really weren’t weighing in with regards to the decision. She stated that with all of the lobbying interest, it was more important than ever to make sure that the decision was the right one. She said: “This is about us as an institution, in terms of we need to protect ourselves from looking like this is an insider deal, a pay-to-play deal.”

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