DC sports betting handle amounts to $1.2m in first two months of legal betting

The DC Lottery’s sports betting operation is unlikely to meet its projected gross gaming revenue or tax revenue this year.

The DC Lottery’s sports betting platform, GambetDC, has processed just $1.2m in sports wagers in its first two months of operation.

According to a report from WTOP-FM, between 30 May and 3 August, bettors in the US capital wagered $1.2m via the GambetDC app which generated just over $237,000 in revenue for the state.

A study carried out by Spectrum Gaming estimated that gross gaming revenue in the first year of legal sports betting in DC would amount to $23m and could reach $84m by 2023. However, the study assumed that sports betting in DC would launch in 2019.

It is possible that the number could change in the coming months as the four major US leagues, NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB resume.

At the time of writing, official reports are not available on the DC Lottery’s website.

The DC Lottery’s platform

In 2019, Washington DC’s mayor signed a proposed sports betting bill into law. Under the district’s sports betting law, bettors will be able to place bets via an online app run by the DC Lottery, at select sporting venues and at licensed bars.

The creation of the DC Lottery’s sports betting app was surrounded in controversy after the council voted to skip the standard bidding process and grant the district’s sports betting contract to Intralot.

In addition to this, the GambetDC platform was delayed several times and features uncompetitive odds and a lengthy signup process. The Lottery’s sports betting platform did not take its first sports for more than 15 months after receiving approval.

The DC Lottery launched its GambetDC desktop platform at the end of May before launching the iOS app at the end of June.

At the time of launch, Nicole Jordan, the director of marketing and communications at the Office of Lottery and Gaming, said that a full-scale advertising campaign was put on hold until a more “robust schedule of major sporting events” was available.

However, the sports betting industries in other states, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Iowa, Rhode Island and Oregon, posted strong betting figures, even with the coronavirus pandemic and the lack of major league sports.

Like the sports betting platforms in other states, GambetDC offers odds on a variety of other sports including international soccer events, Korean baseball, darts, NASCAR and UFC. However, the platform does not offer table tennis betting, which has been the most popular sport to bet on in other US states.

Competition in DC

GambetDC may be the only online sportsbook available in DC, but it’s no longer the only sportsbook that serves the capital.

Last month, William Hill launched its land-based sportsbook at the Capital One Arena box office. A permanent William Hill sportsbook will be opened when fans can attend sporting events in the venue.

Other sportsbooks at stadiums, restaurants and areas are also permitted to operate in DC, which is sure to add more competition.

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