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D.C. City Council votes to legalize sports betting

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D.C. City Council votes to legalize sports betting

WASHINGTON (AP) -- City lawmakers in Washington have voted to legalize sports betting, making the nation's capital the first U.S. jurisdiction without casinos to authorize sports books.

The D.C. Council voted 11-2 on Tuesday to authorize betting on professional sports at the city's stadiums and arenas, private businesses like restaurants and liquor stores, and within the city limits on a mobile app.

Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser supports the bill, which needs her signature to become law. It would also need to survive a review by Congress, but with Democrats taking over the House in January, the law from the Democratic-dominated city is almost certainly safe. Supporters hope bets could be taken in the city within months, although there is no firm timetable.

In May, the Supreme Court struck down a law that banned sports betting in most U.S. states. Since then, several states have authorized betting on sports. The closest place to Washington with legal sports betting is a casino in Charles Town, West Virginia. Sports gambling is also legal in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Because Washington lacks casinos, the D.C. Lottery would oversee sports betting, an arrangement that makes the nation's capital an outlier. Athens, Greece-based Intralot is the city's current lottery vendor. The lottery would sell licenses to sports books at arenas and stadiums for $250,000 over five years, and retailers would be able to purchase a two-year license for $5,000. There is no cap on the number of licenses.

Casino industry groups had a measured reaction to the bill's passage, saying that handing over control of sports gambling to the lottery could stifle competition.

"While the vote today is progress, we remain deeply concerned about giving the lottery a virtual monopoly in the mobile market," Sara Slane, a vice president at the American Gaming Association, said in a statement. "Predictably, this will result in less investment and innovation, to the detriment of consumers and the ability of a nascent legal marketplace to compete with the accessibility and convenience offered by many established illegal wagering operations."

Operators would be taxed at 10 percent of revenue, and city officials have estimated that legal sports gambling will bring in $92 million over four years. Critics said that figure was overly optimistic, particularly if neighboring Maryland, which has several casinos including the massive MGM National Harbor just over the city line, legalizes sports betting.

Beyond the Scoreboard Podcast: The Grand Prix of Long Beach, The Masters and more


Beyond the Scoreboard Podcast: The Grand Prix of Long Beach, The Masters and more

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins




  • The Grand Prix of Long Beach revs its engines. The Grand Prix of Long Beach, which began in 1975, is the longest-running street race in North America and one of the longest continually running events in IndyCar racing. The 45th edition of what is now called the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach – thanks to the eleventh hour signing of Acura in February after the race lost longtime title sponsor Toyota – takes place April 12-14 with an entire festival of events surrounding the seaside street race. Race weekend comprises 35 commercial sponsors, and a payoff for the city of Long Beach that pumps nearly $34 million into the port city’s economy, according to figures from Beacon Economics. Some of the most significant and enduring events of the long Grand Prix weekend, however, occur away from the track. Young IndyCar driver Zach Veach, who races for Andretti Autosport, is sponsored by Group1001, and finished fourth in Long Beach last year, is looking forward to visiting a local elementary school, where he will talk up an interactive STEM program he is developing in conjunction with education technology leader EVERFI
  • The Masters by the numbers. It’s Masters Week, and as golf fans both avid and casual settle in to watch the year’s first Major, WalletHub has analyzed the tournament from tee to green. The personal finance website’s annual report breaks down everything from ticket and concession prices to the cost of producing each green jacket – $250. Among standout numbers, secondary market badge prices this year average $2,484, ranging from $2,250 on Saturday to $2,619 on Thursday – a 15% increase from 2018 and a direct reflection of Tiger Woods’ resurgence and elevated position in the field. Estimated revenues to Augusta National from 2017 ticket sales are $35+ million, while the event’s overall economic impact on the Augusta area economy is $120 million. Over 250,000 people visit the Augusta area each year for Masters festivities, including 350 journalists from around the world.  Last year’s final round Sunday average viewership was 13 million, up 18% from 2017. And the players themselves will leave Augusta National having shared an $11 million purse, with the winner pocketing a cool $1.98 million this year. My favorite data? 640%. That’s the increase in live telecast hours for the Masters from 1956 (2.5 hours) to 2019 (18.5 hours).  
  • In a similar move to its major league counterparts, Minor League Baseball, in conjunction with Brand Activation Maximizer, revealed the launch of the largest retail program in its history. The “Grilling All-Stars” national retail program will encompass five national brands and activated at select retailers in more than 100 MiLB markets and over 13,000 locations across the country. Participating brands include BUSH’S Beans, Scott Bath Tissue, Scott Paper Towels, Ball Park Buns, and The ORIGINAL Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce. The MiLB season got off to a raucous start next week, with the introduction of four new team brands: the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, Las Vegas Aviators, Rocky Mountain Vibes, and the Amarillo Sod Poodles. Grilling All-Stars take note: the Rocky Mountain Vibes’ logo is a hipster version of a yummy S’Mores treat beloved by scouts, campers, and fans of summer everywhere.




Washington Kastles to play in new stadium at Union Market

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Washington Kastles to play in new stadium at Union Market

After 11 years of playing throughout Washington, the Washington Kastles, a franchise in the World TeamTennis league, has a new home for the 2019 season.

The new Kastles Stadium at Union Market features a court on the rooftop of D.C.'s highly popular Union Market area, the team announced on Friday.

Set to open this summer, locals will now be able to take in tennis that will feature the likes of Venus Williams and DMV area native Francis Tiafoe while taking in a view of the city's skyline. The season runs throughout the month of July.

“As a Washingtonian who loves this city, I am dedicated to bringing our community together and showcasing DC as a world-class destination through the power of sports,” Kastles founder Mark Ein said in a statement. "From its roots as Centre Market, a fresh food venue established more than 100 years ago, Union Market has become a great unifier for our community. Kastles Stadium at Union Market will be the perfect home court for our franchise and will connect people from all walks of life throughout the region." 

"We look forward to making memories here for many seasons to come," he added, "and are grateful to partner with a visionary like Jodie McLean and the EDENS team to provide fans with an unmatched sports and entertainment experience.”