Legal Blog

You Bet!: A Guide to the Legalization of Sports Gambling in the District of Columbia

On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in Murphy v. NCAA, which allowed for states to determine whether to legalize sports gambling in their respective jurisdictions. In the aftermath of the Murphy decision, the District of Columbia passed the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-594).  If enacted, the legislation would legalize sports gambling in the District of Columbia. At present, the law is under Congressional review and absent any action by Congress (which does not appear likely) the law is projected to take effect on May 23, 2019.

Even after the law takes effect there remains a long road ahead before sports betting is allowed in the District of Columbia. A regulatory and licensing regime will need to be enacted by the District of Columbia government, and the administrative oversight of this new and exciting industry will need to be carefully crafted. As a result, a large amount of information about the District of Columbia’s plan to legalize sports betting remains unknown and the legal landscape surrounding this industry can still be perilous.  Those planning to participate in the sports gambling industry should proceed with caution.

The purpose of this blog is to share insight into this newly developing industry, and to help provide information about the regulatory framework that is ultimately established by the District of Columbia. We intend to regularly update the blog when new information about the implementation of sport betting in the District of Columbia becomes available, and plan to frequently provide analysis about various areas of the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 and its implementation.

We hope you enjoy the content and you should feel free to contact Ian Thomas at or 202-900-8592 with any questions or interest about the industry.



ABOUT IAN THOMAS | 202-900-8592

Ian Thomas is an attorney in Offit Kurman’s Commercial Litigation practice group.  Ian likes to apply a “think-outside-the-box” approach to litigation, through which he seeks to find creative ways to resolve each legal issue that his clients face.  In applying this approach, Ian is able to identify a diverse and cost-effective set of options to resolve any legal problem that his clients encounter.”









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