New Bill To Expand Mobile Sports Betting In Washington DC

Written By Giovanni Shorter on October 24, 2022
Washington DC Bill

With Maryland heading towards launching mobile sports betting, its neighbors in Washington D.C. are looking to expand their market. Lawmakers have presented the Sports Wagering and Fair Competition Amendment Act of 2022 to allow for more mobile Washington D.C. sports betting apps. Currently, only GambetDC allows for region-wide mobile betting access. This bill looks to allow for commercial mobile apps to go live in the nation’s capital.

Will Washington DC Sports Betting Expand To Mobile Apps?

The bill has been presented by Councilmember Elissa Silverman. The measure is also supported by council members Charles Allen, Mary Cheh, and Brooke Pinto as reported by Axio Washington D.C. These members are hoping to see an increase in activity with more betting options available to residents.

“We need to turn the page on this embarrassing episode,” said Silverman in an official press release acquired by TheLines.com. “Residents deserve an online app that works, taxpayers deserve a program that brings in money for the District, and we all deserve a system where we don’t hand huge contracts to a preferred company and its subcontractors without even looking at the competition.”

The measure aims to eliminate the exclusivity deal between Intralot and D.C. Intralot powers GambetDC and the partnership prevents any other commercial sportsbook from offering citywide betting. Should the measure pass, the contract with Intralot would be terminated in 2024. It would tax 15% on mobile sportsbooks which is the same rate as neighbors in Virginia and Maryland.

Why Mobile Washington DC Sports Betting Is The Right Move

Washington D.C. shares overlapping residents from Virginia and Maryland through the DMV. With Virginia already having statewide mobile betting and Maryland launching shortly, D.C. needs to also have these options.

Currently, it takes no time for a potential better in D.C. to travel to Virginia to bet on sports. If they chose not to use the GambetDC app, they can simply cash in betting at their favorite sportsbook in a manner of minutes traveling outside the city limits. These outside options will increase as the likes of FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars launch in Maryland.

GambetDC has been unable to maintain popularity in the DMV despite being the only option in D.C. for citywide betting. The app itself saw less activity during the 2020-2021 NFL season than sportsbooks like Caesars Sportsbook. Caesars only allows for sports betting to take place within a two-block radius of the Capital One Arena.

Additionally, GambetDC lost $4 million within its first year of activity. The sportsbook was projected to see $25 million in revenue. For the sake of not losing out on revenue, this bill would bring D.C. to the standard of its neighbors. In order to launch sports betting, the legislation needs seven votes to pass. It is still too early to determine if the votes are there.

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Giovanni Shorter

Giovanni Shorter is a sports enthusiast and writer with a passion for the legal and industry side of the sports betting market. Giovanni got his education from Florida State University where he honed his writing style writing narratives and short stories. He has spent his professional career covering sports and entertainment through articles and blogs and continues to look at the industry from multiple angles.

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