Washington opens application process for sports betting licenses
According to Washington, D.C.’s Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG), there are four licensing categories listed for sports betting: operator, management services provider, supplier and occupational. The fees differ per license, the highest being US$500,000 for a Class A license in one of the four professional sports venues approved for sports betting. All licenses will be valid for five years and potential licensees must have some local connection.
Class B licenses may include bars, restaurants and hotels, so long as the establishments are outside “exclusivity zones” from Class A license holders. Any Class A or B or management services provider applicants must show that at least 35 percent of their operating budget will be subcontracted to one or more Certified Business Enterprises (CBE) or is a certified joint venture under the CBE Act and is also a certified small-, disadvantaged- or resident-owned business or the applicant receives a waiver from the Department of Small and Local Business Development.
The law offers big breaks to businesses that meet the requirements of the CBE. As an example, while a Class A license costs US$500,000, if it is “a certified joint venture pursuant to the CBE act,” then the application fee drops to US$125,000.
There are 10 steps to the application process, and according to the application website, potential licensees can start the process and complete it within 90 days. Once an application is submitted, the review process will take up to 45 days. The following steps comprise the application process: 1) Verify basic business license; 2) Provide applicant information; 3) Execute criminal background check; 4) Provide information on all government-issued licenses and permits; 5) Provide information about business organization and structure; 6) Provide applicant and stakeholder contribution and disbursement information; 7) Break down financial interest of applicant and stakeholder; 8) Provide requested supporting documents; 9) Review and verify application; and 10) Make payment and submit application.
Some businesses will be able to apply for a provisional license. Operators already licensed in any of the states with legal live sports betting (Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and the West Virginia) or in British Columbia may apply for a provisional license in the “same category of license as being applied for in the District.” It appears that a provisional license would allow an applicant to begin sports better sooner than getting approval for a standard application. A provisional license will be valid for six months and applicants must start the standard licensing process within 10 days of submitting a provisional license. The full application fee is due with a provisional license, which could be revoked if the standard license is denied.