When sports gambling is formally legalized in Washington, fans will have the option to place bets in convenience stores, bars, restaurants or from their living room couches. But the most visible and elaborate betting venues could feel familiar to Washington sports fans: the high-traffic arenas and stadiums the city's professional teams call home. Mayor Muriel Bowser is expected to sign legislation that grants four arena and stadium operators the option of creating Las Vegas-style sportsbooks on-site. The exact timeline was cast into further uncertainty this week when the city council delayed a key vote that would have allowed the DC Lottery to begin negotiating with a preferred vendor. While the first legal sports bets likely won't take place until summer at the earliest, teams and stadium operators are weighing their options and deciding how they want to forge ahead. A city-sponsored study estimated that 150-200 Washington businesses might seek licenses to take sports bets, but the bill that was approved last month by the city council grants special privileges to the four stadiums and arenas. If those operators choose to get in the gambling business, no other entity can take sports bets legally within a two-block radius. That means the most prominent brick-and-mortar sports wagering locations in the city could be Capital One Arena, Nationals Park, the newly constructed Audi Field and the St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena. While the city works out details on regulation and licensing, those four stadium operators have to decide whether the potential revenue is worth the investment to create a glitzy sportsbook in and around their facilities. Officials with Capital One Arena owner Monumental Sports, the Nationals, D.C. United and Events DC, the District's convention and sports authority, which runs the St. Elizabeths arena, declined to discuss any specific plans before the mayor has signed the legislation into law.
— Rick Maese, The Washington Post
Md. Jockey Club offeringincentive to stakes winners
In preparation for this weekend's kickoff at Laurel Park , the Maryland Jockey Club announced an incentive program for graded-stakes winners that participate in its stakes schedule for the 2019 season. With the exception of the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown to be run May 18, any Grade 1 winner in the past 12 months will have their entry and starting fee waived if they run in a MJC stakes race. In addition, any Grade 1 or Grade 2 winner in the past 12 months that run in either the Bald Eagle Derby or Laurel Futurity will have their entry and starting fee waived. The second running of the $150,000 Bald Eagle Derby for 3-year-olds going 1½ miles and the historic $200,000 Laurel Futurity for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles will both be run over Laurel's turf course Sept. 21. "As Maryland racing continues to grow we're hoping this incentive will strengthen our stakes schedule and help us build some stakes to the graded level," said Maryland Jockey Club Racing Secretary Chris Merz. Starting with four $100,000 stakes for older horses Saturday and leading up to the 34th edition of the Jim McKay Maryland Million on Oct. 19, the MJC will serve up 65 stakes, 13 graded, worth $9.2 million in purses through the first two-thirds of the 2019 calendar. The What a Summer and Nellie Morse for fillies and mares 4 and older and the Native Dancer and Fire Plug for 4-year-olds and up will be held this weekend. The What a Summer and Native Dancer are contested at about 1 1/16 miles, while the Nellie Morse and Fire Plug are run at 6 furlongs. Laurel Park's 48-day winter meet opened Jan. 1 and runs through March 31. The annual Winter Carnival, featuring the $250,000 Barbara Fritchie (G3) and $250,000 General George (G3), is set for Feb. 16.
National Women's Soccer League: The Washington Spirit acquired the No. 7 overall pick in the NWSL College Draft via trade from the Chicago Red Stars . In exchange, Washington sends the 20th pick in the draft and the club's natural first-round selection in the 2020 draft to the Red Stars. The Spirit holds five total picks in today's draft, including three selections in the first round at fourth, seventh and eighth overall. Washington also holds the 29th and 31st selections, both coming in the fourth round.
Men's college basketball: Senior Montaque Wright (Lake Clifton) had a triple double with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as Stevenson (11-4) defeated Messiah, 80-66, in Mid Atlantic Conference Commonwealth play at Owings Mills Gymnasium. ... Salisbury has climbed three spots to a season-high national ranking of No. 19 in the latest D3hoops.com poll. The Sea Gulls have gone 3-1 since the last poll was released prior to the holidays, including a tournament-winning victory against then-No. 16 Nichols College at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tournament in Springfield, Mass.
— From Sun staff and news services