Washington D.C. Requires Sports Wagering Operators to be Licensed and Bonded

Council Bill 22-0944—also known as The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018—was signed into law and took effect on May 3, 2019. Following the Supreme Court ruling in May 2018, many states softened their stances regarding sports betting and have passed legislation to legalize and regulate the practice. This council bill follows that trend by establishing regulations for the industry and requiring sports wagering operators to be licensed and obtain a surety bond to legally operate in the District of Columbia.

What is sports wagering?

According to Council Bill 22-0944, “sports wagering” means accepting wagers on sporting events, a portion of a sporting event, or an individual’s performance statistics in a sporting event. Sports wagering includes in-person bets and betting through websites or on mobile devices. Sports gambling does not include any fantasy or simulated game or contest.

How to get a license to conduct sports wagering

To get a license to conduct sports wagering in Washington DC, an application containing all the following materials must be submitted to the Office of Lottery and Charitable Games:

  • Applicant’s name and mailing address as well as the business location
  • Report on personal and business financial activities 
  • Description of the proposed internal controls to be used such as the security system, the betting service-provider, and other technology-based operations
  • Number of expected employees
  • Estimated tax revenue
  • Business address
  • A surety bond in an amount determined by the board

Licensing is required whether you plan to operate on-site, online, or on mobile and the license may be renewed every five years.

Why do sports wagering operators need to be bonded?

The sports wagering bond is required to protect the state and the public by guaranteeing financial compensation is available for those harmed as a result of unlawful behavior on the part of the licensee.

Along with sports wagering operators, the Office of Lottery and Charitable Games requires management service providers, suppliers, and retailers to be bonded.

How much does a sports wagering bond cost? 

The cost of a sports wagering bond is in part dependent upon the amount of the bond required by the Office of Lottery and Charitable Games. However, the licensee is only required to pay a small percentage of the bond amount called the premium. The bond premium is determined by an underwriter and it is primarily based on the applicant’s credit, although other factors like relevant work experience may also be taken into account when determining the premium. Applicants who are considered highly qualified are typically approved for less than 5% of the total bond amount, meaning a highly qualified applicant needing a $100,000 surety bond will almost always be approved for less than $5,000.

Need to get a surety bond as a sports wagering operator in Washington DC?

The experts at SuretyBonds.com can get you the surety bond you need while saving you time and money. Apply online in minutes at SuretyBonds.com or give us a call at 1 (800) 308-4358 to get started today!

About the Author

Emma Winschel
Emma is a senior at the University of Missouri studying Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. She is a member of the marketing department and outreach team for SuretyBonds.com, a leading provider of online bonding for clients nationwide.