Washington D.C. is a dry district, but also a district with a major spending problem, and a district that is always looking for solutions to said problem. This is a good omen for those with pro-gambling leanings within the nation’s capital. The district may be dry but it’s just a short distance away from the casinos in Maryland, a state with a healthy amount of legal gambling options to offer to Washington D.C. residents.
Washington D.C. Legal Gambling History
It’s no mystery that D.C. likes to spend. In hopes to recoup some of that revenue, online casino gambling has remained a possibility, while not a certainty, for some time. A notable attempt at pushing online gambling through came from Michael A. Brown in 2011, which made it through. To much sadness, the bill was then repealed in 2012 by the Finance and Revenue Committee, which cited that the bill was misleading – that the print was made too small, therefore voters weren’t aware of what all was being voted on.
Hats off to Michael A. Brown for showing heart and dedication to the cause which hasn’t completely died out yet. Many neighboring states of the Northeast region have begun offering online forms of gambling and sports betting and are being blessed with great success. Pennsylvania is bringing in 3.3 Billion a year in tax revenue alone. New Jersey brings in 22.6 million annually as well. I would guess that lawmakers may change their tone once they’re able to know for sure that online gambling is non-problematic and extremely beneficial in terms of bringing in tax revenue and recouping financial loses.
Washington D.C. Gambling Legal Status
Washington D.C. is a dry district. The following forms of gambling are not allowed:
- Casino gaming: slots, poker, table games, etc.
- Online gambling.
- Sports betting and online sportsbooks.
- Race track and off-track betting.
The district does offer a lottery system which includes scratch-offs as well as electronic games. Charitable gaming is allowed in D.C. such as bingo and raffles. “Casino nights” are held on the occasion to raise money for good causes.
Luckily for residents who like their gambling, the district is small and has easy access to neighboring states. Maryland is only a short drive away and is home to 5 casinos and a racetrack casino.
Washington D.C. Legal Daily Fantasy Sports and Sports Betting
As it currently stands in the dry District of Washington, daily fantasy sports, sports betting, and online sportsbook betting are illegal. Whether they will be any other way soon is uncertain. But nothing is impossible, especially with the light be shed on other states who are finding success in these ventures.
Washington D.C. Legal Gambling FAQ’s
What is legal and illegal to bet on in Washington D.C.?
All forms of gambling in the district of Washington are illegal aside from:
- The lottery, which includes both scratch-offs and electronic game offerings.
- Charitable games such as bingo, raffles, and “casino nights”, but only for fundraising purposes.
Players must be at least 18 years of age or older to participate.
Will online gambling or sports betting ever make its way into Washington D.C.?
In terms of speaking about online casino gaming, the possibility for it to become legalized in some form in the future isn’t impossible. This thanks to the support it once had not long ago which enable a bill to be passed which was then shot down to ultimately be put to rest. It’s in hopes that the District will take note of the success had by online betting and sports betting by other states.