The online sports betting monopoly of the Columbia District will not open in time for the forthcoming Super Bowl, though land-based betting on bars and restaurants looks like a slightly better bet.
NBC’s Washington affiliate on Wednesday quoted a DC Lottery spokesman saying that the citywide mobile betting app of the Lottery that was scheduled to launch in January has now been pushed back to some point in the first three months of 2020.
The spokesman blamed the late arrival of the app, initially scheduled to launch in September, for the legal challenge of the incredibly sketchy five-year, $215 m, no-bid contract given to its current tech supplier Intralot by the Lottery. This request was dismissed in October, after which Intralot apparently decided to continue improving its betting app.
In the meantime, DC nightspots owners will be able to apply for mobile on-site and land-based betting licenses beginning on December 3. The Lottery said that the process of vetting applicants and approving licenses could be completed within 30-45 days, leaving open the (admittedly weak) possibility of these venues being able to offer betting options to Super Bowl fans while quaffing pints and gobbling chicken wings.
Four sports venues in the district can also apply for their mobile betting licenses on-stadium and restricted (two blocks from the sites). At Capital One Arena, home of the Wizards (NBA), Capitals (NHL) and Mystics (Women’s NBA), Bookmaker William Hill has already reached an agreement to open a sportsbook.
This week, the Washington Post announced that the city major league football team DC had been signed by the casino owner, Caesars Entertainment.
The parties negotiate a comprehensive agreement, which will include a sponsorship, and not just a sports book that will feature a Caesars logo on the team’s jersey sleeves. While negotiations are currently still on the start.