Handle 19 Will Reapply for Gambling License After DC Lottery Denial
by Larry Janezich
Posted on February 17, 2021
According to an article by Jill R. Dorson published in the internet trade publication Sportshandle http://bit.ly/2NCtWof , Handle 19 – whose sports betting application was denied by DC Lottery – has withdrawn the application and will restructure the business and reapply in the next 60 – 90 days. The company had the right to withdraw after the denial, but in doing so, forfeits the $100,000 application fee. It will have to pony up another $100 grand to resubmit. Vetting a new application will take another six to nine months, pushing any opening into next year.
ANC6B in support of nearby neighbors, voted last November to file a protest with ABRA against a liquor license for Handle in hopes no liquor license would discourage the owners from opening at the location close to neighborhoods, schools, and day care centers. The ANC previously supported a sports gambling license for The Brig on Barracks Row. The difference is that The Brig is not located near schools and day care, and sports gambling is a component of the Brig’s primary business rather than the main business.
Last night, ANC6B sponsored a community meeting to receive a briefing from attorney Kerry Verdi – whom the Commission has engaged to represent them – about the status of the ANC’s liquor license protest. The virtual protest hearing before ABRA is scheduled for April 8, at 10:00am. The ANC is protesting the license as not appropriate on the basis of peace, order, and quiet including noise and litter and residential parking needs and vehicular and pedestrian safety. A separate ANC motion to dismiss the license application on the basis that the proposed business can’t meet the 45% annual income from food sales based on its seat-to-occupancy ratio was denied as being premature.
Handle 19 can open a sports book without a liquor license, but must have some other auxiliary business at the location – a requirement which would be satisfied by food service that does not include serving alcohol. Handle says it will open once it gets a wagering license, liquor license or not.
Owner Shane August continues to hope to find a way to convince neighbors that his business will be an asset to the community and help revitalize the hard hit hospitality sector on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.