Statement from Office of Lottery and Gaming on Unlicensed Sports Betting
With the rapid expansion of legalized sports wagering in the United States and the recent emergence of licensed sportsbook offerings in the District of Columbia, the Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) is emphasizing to consumers and to businesses seeking to conduct sports wagering that the only sportsbooks that are legal and authorized to operate in the District are those licensed and regulated by the OLG. Any sports wagering conducted in the District that is not under the OLG’s regulation and oversight is illegal.
Further, media outlets and marketing firms engaged in sportsbook advertising or related activities should exercise caution in endorsing or referencing land based and internet sportsbook operators that are not licensed by the OLG and authorized to accept wagers from customers located in the District. For clarification, the use of intermediaries (sometimes referred to as “runners”) to place wagers at licensed sportsbook locations where the identity of the true bettor is concealed is prohibited and may result in criminal charges against both the bettor and “runner.”
The OLG is charged with protecting the District’s residents and consumers from the dangers posed by these illicit gambling establishments and internet sites, which, lack consumer protections, integrity protocols, and anti-money laundering controls. Due to these concerns, the OLG recommends that consumers only engage sports wagering using companies licensed by OLG or offered directly by the District’s through the DC Lottery. Consumers and companies should further not do business with unlicensed sports wagering operators. To assist consumers and businesses, the OLG maintains a website with the most current information on licensed sports wagering operators, management service providers and suppliers (Licensed Operators).
The OLG is committed to ensuring sports wagering offered in the District is conducted in a fair and safe manner. This starts with a rigorist license application process and continues with robust oversight of sports wagering licensee operations by the OLG.
The OLG’s Regulation and Oversight Division is available to answer questions regarding sports wagering licensure and authorized sports wagering operations in the District. Division staff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.788.2100.