Empowering DC’s Women and Minority-Owned Businesses: The Case for an Open Sports Betting Market

Washington Spirit  |   June 11, 2024
Empowering DC’s Women and Minority-Owned Businesses: The Case for an Open Sports Betting Market Featured Image

By CEO Kim Stone


An open sports betting market and new Class C license will create revenue-generating opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses in the District.

This week, the DC City Council will consider legislation to open its sports betting market to multiple regulated sportsbooks. This has the potential to create significant business growth opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses in the city. As the female CEO of DC’s premier women’s professional sports team, I see this as a huge step forward in ensuring that the District’s core values of equality and fairness are reflected in our sports economy.

Currently, the District only allows a single sports betting platform to operate, creating a monopoly that stifles competition and leaves out local businesses, sports teams, and media partners. When only one sportsbook controls the market, there is less incentive to create lucrative marketing deals and partnerships. These partnerships could be worth tens of millions of dollars, especially for local businesses that are more likely to be women, minority, and Black-owned in DC.

Across the sports industry, women’s sports lag behind in terms of where companies spend their marketing and partnership dollars. A vote to approve the city council budget would help narrow this gender gap and encourage sportsbooks to invest more in women’s sports in DC.

Under the current system, minority-owned businesses must compete for a limited budget from a single sportsbook. In a competitive market, multiple sportsbooks would vie for the chance to partner with organizations like ours, expanding the opportunities for everyone involved.

The proposed legislation also introduces a new Class C mobile license, which does not require physical wagering facilities and specifically benefits women’s sports teams without their own establishments. This license would be a significant step forward for gender and racial equality in sports in the District of Columbia.

Examples of open sports betting markets around the country show they perform much better than those with only one sportsbook operator. They generate more tax revenue for important District budget priorities and more money for our constituents, benefiting the entire community.

Let’s do what’s right for our city—let’s pass this proposal and take another step toward closing the gender and racial disparity gaps in the District of Columbia.

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