D.C. councilman introduces bill to legalize sports betting

(PHOTO: CNN)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A city councilman introduced a bill Tuesday that would legalize sports betting in the District.

Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans announced the “Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018” during a Committee of the Whole meeting.

The U.S. Supreme Court made sports betting illegal in 1992, but Evans says states are starting to legalize and regulate the industry. It’s already legal in five states including West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and Nevada.

Evans says the legislation would create strong regulatory structures that ensure consumer confidence. Residents and visitors would be able to bet both online and in person, and the Lottery will broad powers to ensure the integrity of the system.

“Today, we take the first steps towards capturing this exciting new stream of revenue, instead of watching District resident dollars fill the coffers of other jurisdictions,” said Councilmember Evans. “The District of Columbia will be the leader in a fast-growing industry. The city should take advantage of our ability to act before the Maryland or Virginia legislatures to create a thriving sports betting market, which will attract consumers to the District and generate revenue for District revenues.”

A portion of the revenue generated from betting could be used to partially fund “Birth-to-Three for All DC Act” which promotes early childhood wellness programs, according to a press release.