Brian Wise 0

Don’t mix alcohol, gambling, and kids on the Hill

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Handle 19, a proposed Sports Betting gambling establishment, is seeking a liquor license for its proposed location at 319 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003. As residents and members of the immediate surrounding community, we oppose the granting of a liquor license for this proposed establishment, and strongly urge the ANC6B members to reject Handle 19's application for a liquor license.

The owners of Handle 19 are not local to DC and are unfamiliar with makeup of the Capitol Hill neighborhood in which they hope to open a bar and gambling venue. Handle 19's proposed location is in the middle of a primarily residential area that hundreds of young families and children call home. The proposed location is within half a mile of at least five elementary schools and a large number of daycare providers. They have acknowledged the high likelihood of increased crime expected from their establishment, and have stated that they plan to have armed security at the establishment and maintain video surveillance of the exterior sidewalk area "as a deterrent."

While admitting that their business will be a magnet for crime and violence, they have totally dismissed the impact their establishment will have on the surrounding neighborhood and homes immediately adjacent to their property. Alcohol-fueled violence and crime is a common occurrence in and around such establishments. We are concerned that when drunk patrons who have just lost money betting on games leave the proposed venue after it closes, they will be spilling out onto the surrounding residential streets in front of homes with sleeping young children and older adults. Car break-ins, vandalism, assaults on residents, and theft are already a concern in this neighborhood, and this proposed venue will attract more crime and violence without adding anything of value to the community.

A Sports Betting establishment does not belong in a residential neighborhood surrounded by single family homes, schools, parks, child care facilities, and casual family restaurants. We call on our ANC 6B commissioners and all governing DC agencies to reject the liquor license for Handle 19 due to its detrimental impact on the community.

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