First local business in DC receives sports betting license approval

The District of Columbia’s Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) has awarded sports betting licenses to two new businesses in the nation’s capital.

This comes after the DC Lottery announced a new initiative to allow small businesses in DC to offer in-person sports betting in partnership with GamBetDC back in July.

Although local businesses in DC can offer sports betting in partnership with GambetDC, the market is expanding so that local businesses can offer something other than GambetDC kiosks.

OLG awards licenses

The regulator has now awarded a supplier license to Elys Game Technologies as well as a Class B license to the independently owned operator Grand Central LLC. 

According to the OLG’s application status report, which was updated on Tuesday, the Elys and Grand Central were awarded licenses on 26 August.

Both businesses submitted their applications in November 2020, however, the process was extended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Elys’ acquisition of US Bookmaking also delayed the process.

What does this mean?

With its Class B license, Grand Central will be able to open and operate a sportsbook in its Grand Central Restaurant and Bar, with Elys providing turnkey solutions on kiosk hardware.

Meanwhile, Elys’ Class B standard management services provider license will allow the business to provide certain services to Grand Central. This will include odds, events, and risk management as well as business intelligence support.

As part of a partnership between the two businesses, Grand Central and Elys will collaborate on marketing campaigns and joint branding ventures.

The sportsbook is expected to be open to the public by October 2021, while the on-site mobile sports betting app is slated for launch in 2022.

Brian Vasile, owner of Grand Central said: “We have been a part of the vibrant Adams Morgan neighborhood since Grand Central opened in 2007.

“We are very honored to have been approved as the first Class B licensed operator by the DC Office of Lottery and Gaming and believe that our establishment will serve as a showcase example for this operational model and a key role in the economic growth of this rooted residential and commercial neighborhood, as well as the greater DC area.”

Michele Ciavarella, executive chairman of Elys said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be granted our first US-based sports wagering license and are looking forward to launching our Elys Gameboard US platform at Grand Central Restaurant & Bar, in Washington, DC.

“For ages, sports events and championship games have been consumed and enjoyed the most in restaurants and bars, and we believe that the unique Class B classification established by the DC Office of Lottery and Gaming will pioneer an entirely new and exciting vertical where sports wagering could elevate the dining and gathering experience at bars and restaurants throughout North America.”