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VERIFY: Will sports betting be ready by Super Bowl Sunday?

Much to the dismay of DMV fans, the Redskins and Ravens will not be competing on Super Bowl Sunday. But fans still care, and many want to bet. But will it be ready?

WASHINGTON — Question: 

Is there any chance, sports betting will be available in D.C. by Super Bowl Sunday. 


No. The chances of such a fast turn-around are dwindling, and stakeholders in the process told The Verify Team, that it seems unlikely, if not impossible. 


A spokesperson for Monumental Sports and Entertainment

Nicole G. Jordan, Director of Marketing and Communications for Office of Lottery and Gaming (DC Lottery)

William Hill Press Release - October 2019

OLG Sports Wagering License Application Status Report - January 2020


The Burgundy and Gold lost their chances to play in the big game months ago. As for the Ravens, their playoff dreams were also blown apart by a loss to the underdog Tennessee Titans. 

But fans in the DMV are still eager for the big game, wondering if this might be the year where they can wager on the big game. The Verify team looked into it. 

It was back in May 2018, when the Supreme Court opened the door to this whole process, in a landmark ruling that left it to the states to decide if sports betting would be legal. 

In December 2018, DC Council took advantage of this change, becoming the first jurisdiction in the DMV to legalize sports betting

In July, DC Council approved a massive $215 million contract with Intralot. In a controversial decision, the Council chose the company, without any bidding process. 

DC Lottery confirmed with the Verify Team that they are partnering with Intralot to try and get a mobile wagering app ready. They are currently eyeing a March roll-out, which of course is after the Super Bowl. 

There is another way though. 

Monumental Sports and Entertainment, which oversees Capitol One Arena, announced a partnership in October with sportsbook operator, William Hill. So far, William Hill is the only company to apply for a Class A Provisional Betting License, according to a list on the DC Lottery website.  

Monumental Sports and Entertainment told the Verify Team that William Hill submitted this application on Dec. 23. The approval process for this type of license is expected to take 30 to 45 days. 

The license isn't the only obstacle though. William Hill will need to renovate the leased space first which "will take time," according to MSE. 

"We see no possibility," said a spokesperson from MSE. "Of William Hill opening a sportsbook before the Super Bowl." 

The big question now is whether sports betting will be ready by March Madness. Only time will tell. 

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