The sports betting market in the nation’s capital hasn’t gone to plan, as neighboring markets have succeeded in that aspect. As the Washington D.C. Council’s Business and Economic Committee debated sports betting in the District Wednesday, it showed that there were a lot of disagreements along the way.
What is the Next Approach for Washington, D.C.?
Council member Elissa Silverman brought up her bill that would permit mobile sports betting in the nation’s capital. Some of the reputable sportsbook operators have retail locations and partnerships with professional franchises in the area.
These bookmakers include BetMGM, Caesars, and FanDuel. GambetDC is the only operator that has a mobile sportsbook in the district, as it was developed by a third-party provider named Intralot.
GamebetDC has been given subpar reviews from bettors across the district. In addition, the platform has had many technological issues, especially during the Super Bowl, when people couldn’t place wagers on some devices. Bettors had to go close to venues like Nationals Park to place bets during the event.
The mobile sportsbooks have had difficulty putting together a user-friendly interference compared to other major bookmakers like DraftKings and FanDuel. GamebetDC has also given poor odds compared to other books across the nation.
The Lottery Has Different Ideas
Frank Suarez, the executive director of the D.C. Lottery and Gaming Office, had other plans as he pushed back on Council member Elissa Silverman’s ideas. The two have been going back and forth for years as they share different plans.
Suarez believes the most recent changes were necessary and praised the team for the improvement. He believes that adding more competition would be a mistake for the market, as it would lead to less revenue for the lottery.
For the fiscal year of 2022, GamebetDC saw a total handle of just $58.3 million, which is horrible compared to the retail locations. For example, Caesars Sportsbook has a location in the Capital One Arena, and potential visitors can place wagers within a two-mile radius of the venue. The sportsbook had a handle of $111.9 million for the fiscal year.
Regardless of the situation, the D.C. market has a 10 percent tax rate as GamebetDC brought in $10.2 million in gross. The district was able to collect $1 million in tax receipts for the year. The constant disagreements will most likely continue going into the new year.
Maryland’s Market Has Been Doing Much Better
The Old Line State has been in the retail sports betting market for two years and brought in better numbers than the nation’s capital. Maryland has now added the online sports wagering component to its arsenal, and it has been a major success up to this point.
During Thanksgiving weekend, Maryland’s geolocation transactions were similar to the prominent markets in the industry as new customers joined platforms across the board. Will Washington, D.C., do the same eventually?