ABRA's Last Call Newsletter: September/October 2019 Edition

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Last Call Newsletter


Sports Wagering

Sports wagering is now legal in DC but before you add kiosks or launch an app for your patrons to place bets, first consult the final regulations governing private-operator sports wagering issued by the Office of Lottery and Gaming (OGL) and secure the required OGL and Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) approvals.

While OGL autonomously issues and enforces all sports wagering licenses, the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board is charged with ensuring that proposed changes to the normal operations of establishments that manufacture, distribute, or sell alcohol meet appropriateness standards outlined in § 25-313

This means that if you are a current ABC licensee and want to offer sports wagering, you must submit a Sports Wagering Substantial Change Application to ABRA for consideration since your previously approved application would not have included the activity.

If you are seeking a new ABC license and want to offer sports wagering as part of your normal operation, you can include the request in your initial Alcoholic Beverage License Application.

Both scenarios may be subject to a 45-day protest period and approval by the ABC Board.

Additional guidance on sports wagering can be found on OGL's website and ABRA's website

Final Rulemaking

On September 11, 2019, by a vote of 4-0, the ABC Board approved Civil Penalty and Technical Proposed Rulemakings. 

The proposed Civil Penalty Rules are intended to update the existing Civil Penalty Schedule by incorporating unlisted infractions and penalties, removing duplicative infractions, and amending the descriptions of existing infractions.

The proposed Technical Rules would update the regulations to conform the changes in the 2018 Omnibus bill. The rulemaking would also make administrative and technical changes unrelated to the bill, including adopting regulations governing self-serving machines.

The Board will hold a public hearing in the fall. Notice of the hearing will be published in the D.C Register and on ABRA's website


On-Premises Class C/D (Nightclub and Tavern) License Renewal
Due: Monday, September 30, 2019

To renew your nightclub or tavern license—and minimize your time in line—you must bring the following documents with you to our office:

  1. Application
  2. Certificate of Good Standing—as issued by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs/DCRA. (Corporate entities only).
  3. Clean Hands Certificate—Individual, as issued by the Office of Tax and Revenue/OTR
  4. Clean Hands Certificate – Business Entity, as issued by the Office of Tax and Revenue/OTR
  5. Payment
  6. Government-Issued Photo Identification
  7. Settlement Agreement Amendment and Termination Form (Optional)

Licenses not renewed by the deadline are subject to late fees and cancellation. 

Annual Third Year Payments—Class B License Holders
Due: Monday, September 30, 2019

If you have yet to provide payment for your third and final year of your Manufacturer Class B, Off-Premises Retailer Class B, or Wholesalers Class B license, you have until the September 30 deadline to avoid late fees—$50 per day—and potential cancellation. Payments must be made in-person or mailed to ABRA's office. 

Extended Holiday Hours
Due: Friday, October 11, 2019 to register for Veterans Day on Monday, November 11, 2019 and Monday, October 28, 2019 to register for Thanksgiving Day Weekend starting Thursday, November 28, 2019

Through the District’s Extended Holiday Hours Program, restaurants, bar, nightclubs, hotels, and manufacturers with an on-site sales and consumption permit can apply to be allowed to sell and serve alcohol until 4:00 a.m. and operate 24/7 over select holiday periods. Once approved, the registration is valid for all eligible holidays for future years. There is no cost to apply or participate in the program.

[Plan ahead—2020 Extended Holiday Schedule and FAQ now available]

Bonus |
Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 2:00 a.m., turning back clocks by one hour. Any licensee that normally ends alcohol service at 2:00 a.m. will automatically gain an additional hour to serve alcohol.

Licensees that have a Settlement Agreement or ABC Board Order limiting closing hours to 1:00 a.m. or earlier are NOT eligible to participate.

On-Premises Class C/D (Hotels and Restaurants) Quarterly Statement
Due: Wednesday, October 30, 2019

ABC-licensed restaurants and hotels are required to file quarterly statements to report the previous quarter's gross sales receipts for food and alcohol and total expenses for the purchase of food and alcohol. The coming due third quarter statement must cover July-September 2019.

West Dupont Decision

On August 7, 2019, the ABC Board adopted the West Dupont Circle Moratorium Zone (WDCMZ) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by a vote of 5-0.

The proposed rulemaking would maintain the existing cap of zero on nightclub licenses located within 600 feet in all directions from the intersection of 21st and P Streets NW, and create an exemption for the “Dupont Underground”, a DC-owned former streetcar station located below a right of way.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is subject to a 30-day public comment period following the publishing of the rules in the DC Register. 

In effect in varying forms for more than 20 years, the WDCMZ is set to expire on October 27, 2019. The rules, if adopted as final, would extend the moratorium for another three years.

Mike Silverstein

On Wednesday, August 14, 2019, ABC Board Member Mike Silverstein retired from the ABC Board after nine years of dedicated service. During his tenure, Board Member Silverstein:

  • Proactively pushed for strong sale to minor enforcement recognizing the importance of preventing underage drinking. 
  • Developed best practice pub crawl regulations and procedures.
  • Played a significant role on the ABC Board in its review of moratorium requests from the public.

In opening the ABC Board Hearing, Board Chairperson Donovan Anderson recognized Board Member Silverstein’s many contributions—and for always leading with dignity and treating all persons who appeared before the ABC Board with respect and fairness.

A complete ABC Board roster is available on ABRA's website.

Sidewalk Cafe / Summer Garden

The District in the fall is a great time of the year to enjoy a beverage outdoors, but before you seat and serve guests, confirm that you have the correct ABC license endorsement.

All restaurants, taverns, multipurpose facilities, hotels, nightclubs, and manufacturers with an on-site sales and consumption permit wanting to sell, serve, or allow the consumption of alcoholic beverages in an outdoor space must secure a summer garden and/or sidewalk café endorsement.

A summer garden endorsement is issued for outdoor private space. A sidewalk café endorsement is issued for outdoor public space. An establishment may need one or both types depending on their planned operation.

To obtain an endorsement, current licensees must complete and submit a Summer Garden/Sidewalk Café Endorsement Application. Prospective licensees must complete and submit the general Alcoholic Beverage License Application with the appropriate endorsement type selected in Box 5.

Applications may be subject to the 45-day protest period and approval by the ABC Board. 


ABRA regularly hosts **FREE** trainings that are open to the general public. Upcoming opportunities include: 

Books and Records for Hotels and Restaurants
Thursday, September 26, 2019
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (Spanish interpretation available upon advance request)
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Korean interpretation available upon advance request)

Training covers food sales requirements and reporting, quarterly statement filings, and books and records tracking.


ABC Licensee Orientation
Thursday, November 7, 2019 or Thursday, December 19, 2019.
Additional 2020 dates are available and open for registration.
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Translation available upon advance request)

Geared towards new ABC licensees to introduce them to the ABC laws and regulations, best practices, noise abatement, settlement agreements, and how to work effectively with residents.


Training Location

All trainings take place at ABRA's office located in the Frank D. Reeves Center of Municipal Affairs at 2000 14th Street NW, Fourth Floor, Washington, DC 20009.