If you live or work in close proximity to Nationals Park in Washington DC, your location is now more coveted. The BetMGM Washington DC app is now available for online sports betting in the nation’s capital in and around the stadium.
Users should note that in compliance with D.C. law, they’ll have to be within a geofenced location of two blocks around the stadium to place their bets. Still, it’s a welcome addition to the landscape of legal gambling in the District.
BetMGM Washington DC app is now up and running
As of Thursday, June 10, BetMGM’s sports betting app is fully functional in the District. Both Android and iOS users can access the DC-specific app on their devices.
“Launching in Washington, D.C. at Nationals Park sets the stage for our plans to expand BetMGM within the region, as we’ve already seen great success in Virginia,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt in a press release. “The Washington Nationals have been a fantastic partner, committed to innovating the in-stadium fan experience and we’re looking forward to opening our retail sportsbook at the stadium later this year.”
Now that the app is live in DC, it represents the fruition of a partnership that MGM and the Washington Nationals announced in January. As Greenblatt mentioned, that will include a retail sportsbook at Nationals Park but only accessible from the exterior. Fans inside the stadium won’t have a way to get into the brick-and-mortar sportsbook.
Restrictions for online wagering work in somewhat the opposite way. You have to be inside or within two blocks of the park to have full access. The geofencing requirement only applies when actually placing bets. Eligible bettors can download the BetMGM app, register an account, make deposits and withdrawals, and browse the markets from anywhere.
Why do I have to be around Nationals Park to wager?
The location requirement is all about DC law. The law gives the DC Lottery the exclusive right to offer online sports betting anywhere in the District. However, other licensees can offer online wagering within tight vicinities of their brick-and-mortar spaces.
William Hill Sportsbook and Monumental Sports and Entertainment have collaborated in the same way at Entertainment and Sports Arena. The home of the Washington Capitals, Mystics, and Wizards is a site where bettors can access that app.
The retail sportsbook at that venue has performed very well. In fact, it routinely outperforms the DC lottery’s Intralot product, GambetDC, by three or four times in terms of monthly handle.
Consumers point to a lack of disparate markets, infrequent promotions, and non-competitive odds for why GambetDC struggles. The DC Lottery has pointed to a variety of factors for its sportsbook’s relative lack of success, including an unverified statement that bettors in DC prefer a retail sportsbook experience.
Thus, the two limited-access DC sports betting apps may see each other as their only competition in the District. For that reason, DC bettors might soon have more access to more lucrative promotions.
More competition is good for DC bettors
As inconvenient as traveling to either Entertainment and Sports Arena or Nationals Park might be, bettors seem to prefer it over using GambetDC. BetMGM Sportsbook would be wise to build on that narrative.
Visitors to Nationals Park will get a lot of face time with the brand, as the BetMGM logo will not only be plastered around the retail sportsbook but throughout the stadium as well. However, BetMGM won’t dominate market share in the District if it’s only used by Nationals fans on game days.
The real value will be in driving traffic to its exclusivity zone around the park. To accomplish that, a wider array of marketing will be necessary. Nationals fans should expect to see BetMGM advertising on social channels and in content. Additionally, DC bettors should have access to the same registration bonuses and deposit matches that BetMGM customers in other jurisdictions enjoy.
BetMGM could challenge William Hill in DC if it’s able to raise awareness about its offerings in the near future. For certain, a visit to Nationals Park now offers one more form of entertainment whether the Nats are playing a game that day or not.