Common Sense Prevails: DC Sports Betting Launch Delayed Until Sports Return

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DC sports betting

The launch of DC sports betting is officially delayed until US sports return, according to the Office of Lottery and Gaming.

The Lottery’s DC sports betting platform from Intralot was set to launch by March 31 as of two weeks ago. But the uncertainty of when sports will return because of the coronavirus pandemic led to a change of plans in Washington DC.

“We are revising our sports wagering launch strategy based on the current state of world events, but will be posting information about the platform in the coming days, including introducing the brand and its functionalities,” said Nicole Jordan, director of marketing and communications. “The Lottery and Intralot are prepared to launch the platform when it is safe for the sports world to return.”

The app and web platforms were tested and approved to go live, Jordan added. Both would be going live April 1 if there were enough sports available.

DC Lottery announces branding

The DC Lottery finally announced the first details about the Intralot-powered platform called GambetDC.

The lottery gives a glimpse of what the app will look like in a 30-second video found on the platform’s introduction page.

GambetDC’s about section also boasts the ease of using the app: “With GambetDC, you can place a bet anytime and anywhere YOU like to play–like while in your favorite bar, walking down the street or from the comfort of your home.”

But that’s not exactly true. There will be plenty of places in the District that you can’t access the GambetDC app, as outlined in the FAQ section:

There are certain areas within the District where betting using GambetDC is prohibited. These areas include all federal enclaves such as the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial that fall within the area defined under the Shipstead-Luce Act that includes the monumental core of the District, along the Potomac waterfront and Rock Creek Park.

You are also not able to place bets with GambetDC within 2 blocks of major stadiums such as Audi Field, Capital One Arena and, Nationals Park and St. Elizabeths East Entertainment Sports Arena.

Washington DC sports betting will include options

Intralot won the no-bid contract to supply mobile DC sports betting via the Lottery. That deal drew widespread scrutiny of both Intralot and bill sponsor Councilman Jack Evans, who later was expelled from the council for unrelated ethics violations.

And if the moneyline odds look anything like they did in Montana before sports shut down, it will leave sports bettors wanting more.

The District also authorized bars, restaurants, and sports venues to launch sportsbooks, the former as Class A and B licensees.

Those offerings will be geofenced, however, and not as widely available as Intralot’s lottery app.

Not many applications though

William Hill is the only other operator that has so far applied. The company is teamed up with Capital One Arena to operate its sportsbook.

William Hill should be licensed by the end of April or early May. That’s based on the 30- to 45-day approval timeline for qualified applicants, which are already licensed in an approved jurisdiction.

The sportsbook operator originally submitted its application Dec. 23 but only delivered all of the information to the OLG last week.

Data provider Sportradar and sportsbook technology supplier Scientific Games also submitted applications.