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Photo by Lorie Shaull

The following was written by Tony T, “Tony Tomeldon is a DC native, dad of three all-virtual students, husband of a physical therapist and owner of The Pug, Partner at Union Trust and Brookland’s Finest.”


It goes without saying that this damn virus has impacted a huge number of businesses in DC. I’ve lost track of the bars and restaurants that have closed, and the friends who have watched their dreams disappear. We say it over and over again, but even in the best of times, our margins are incredibly narrow. The grants and aid packages have been very helpful, but as a friend says, we’re not running P & Ls we’re running L & Ls. Also, don’t forget congress gave us territorial aid, not state aid. We still need help.

Last year, DC legalized sports betting for wagering on games through apps and in-person. I’m too emotionally involved in my teams to bet. My big gamble was getting involved in the hospitality business. Someday, I’ll let you know if that bet paid off. I’m just a bartender, so it may be above my paygrade, but I’m hoping (almost begging) that some of the tax revenue raised on betting in DC can be used to help my industry.

There are more than enough ads for FanDuel, DraftKings etc. Even the MGM at National Harbor has an app. I love Prince George’s County, but we can keep that tax revenue in the District if you bet with GambetDC, which is run by the DC Lottery. Bets through GambetDC are taxed at almost 60%, that’s a lot of new tax revenue coming in to the District.

With March Madness almost here, I expect a lot of gamblers will use the bookie they’ve used forever, (I mean, I’m not sure they’re out there, you know, bookies) but if you’re gonna bet on the games, why not throw a bet where the revenue comes back to the city. Yes, eat local, use the local delivery option, and bet local. Official DC: if all the revenue is not already set aside, send some more aid towards stages, bars, and restaurants so folks can one day grab dinner and a drink, and see a show in our neighborhoods in local establishments.

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