Fans in the nation’s capital are excited that sports betting is now legal in Washington DC. However, as many Washingtonians predicted, there are some strict regulations for sports betting in DC, including geolocation.
Last May, legislation to allow sports betting in the District passed congressional review and became law. The DC Lottery is launching its own sports betting app that will likely be ready at the beginning of 2020.
The DC sports betting app won’t work across District lines. So, a sports bettor in DC commuting on the metro to a neighboring state, like Virginia, would have to complete their wagers before they cross the District line.
This kind of regulation is standard, and most sports bettors are aware of it. However, many players may be caught off guard with the hundreds of locations in the District where the DC Lottery app won’t work.
There are hundreds of locations of federally owned property in the nation’s capital. Some of these federally owned properties are obvious, like the National Mall.
However, many of these federally owned locations are lesser known. It’s these more abstruse locations where sports bettors may get confused on why that can’t make a wager.
GeoComply is the market frontrunner in geolocation compliance technology. The Canadian company is currently in 42 states, and they will likely manage the compliance technology for the DC Lottery sports betting app, NBC Washington reported.
An advisory board member for GeoComply, Sara Slane, told NBC Washington that they process 10 million geolocation transactions every day.
Slane said that adding the restrictions to the DC Lottery app will be the most complicated of them all, and that “It is going to be quite the jigsaw puzzle.”
In addition to federally owned property, the Lottery app won’t work in four major DC sports venues: Nats Park, Capital One Arena, Audi Field, and the Entertainment and Sports Arena. Each of those venues will have its own app that players can use in the specific arena.
Unlike states that have casinos and racetracks, the District doesn’t have the typical locations where sports betting usually takes place. Because of this, the DC law permits betting at bars, restaurants, and convenience store kiosks, the Washington Post reported in August.
Some businesses will be able to obtain interim licenses as soon as 30 to 45 days after submitting their applications if they partner with established sports betting companies, like FanDuel. Several popular DC establishments have started the process to implement sports betting, including Lou’s City Bar and Duffy’s Irish Pub.
The DC Lottery plans to launch its app in January 2020. However, it looks like Washingtonians may be able to enjoy in-person sports betting before the new year.