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Legalised sports betting in Washington DC delayed

The push to legalise sports betting in Washington DC suffered a setback on Tuesday after the DC Council decided not to move the measure forward as an emergency.

In December, city lawmakers voted to legalise sports betting and advocated that the DC Lottery would oversee gaming in the jurisdiction – via a mobile/app-based platform – due to the absence of casinos.

But now there will be a public hearing to determine whether there should be competitive bidding process.

DC Lottery executive director Beth Bresnahan claimed a bidding process could take up to three years and cost the District nearly $61m (€53m) in sports betting revenue.

“If Virginia and Maryland offer sport wagering before the District, these states will be better able to establish customer relationships with their residents, thus depriving the District of potential revenue from commuters, who double our adult population every work day. This revenue may never be recovered,” Bresnahan said in a letter.

But Councilmember Elissa Silverman 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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