Sports Betting on Council’s Fall Agenda

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Last week, the Council of the District of Columbia returned from summer recess to convene its first legislative session since July. The Council’s 22nd legislative period is coming to an end in December. Any bill that hasn’t been voted on by the Council to advance to the mayor for her signature will ultimately need to be reintroduced in January.

On Tuesday, Sept. 18, I and five of my colleagues introduced the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018. The bill’s purpose is to legalize sports betting in the District of Columbia. I hope this bill will be signed into law before the end of the legislative period.

On May 14 of this year, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed a 1992 law which banned sports betting in all but a few jurisdictions in America. Today, sports betting is legal in Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia. Washington, D.C., will lead the region in exploring this exciting and new industry.

By introducing this bill, we took the first steps in capturing a new stream of revenue for the District that can go toward existing programs. For example, revenue will go to fund the recently passed Birth-to-Three for All DC Act, which promotes early childhood wellness programs. The Commission on the Arts and Humanities will receive additional revenue as well.

The next steps include a public hearing by the Committee on Finance and Revenue, scheduled for Oct. 17 at 10 a.m. in Room 500 of the Wilson Building. I welcome an in-depth discussion on this legislation from my colleagues on the Council and from the public. To sign-up to testify, please email Committee Assistant Sarina Loy at sloy@dccouncil.us.

This is just the beginning of the fall session. I’m looking forward to working on many more issues on behalf of the residents of Ward 2. For more information on upcoming hearings, go to dccouncil.us. For updates specific to Ward 2, please sign up for my biweekly newsletter. Email jevans@dccouncil.us to be put on the list.

Jack Evans is the District Council member for Ward 2, representing Georgetown and other neighborhoods since 1991.

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