After delaying its launch when sports shut down due to the coronavirus, DC sports betting is finally here — but without an app.
“While we recognize there will be a limited number of events to wager on, this ‘soft launch’ will provide us with an opportunity to roll out the Gambet DC website to potential players in the District in preparation for the return of sports,” said Nicole Jordan, the director of marketing and communications at the Office of Lottery and Gaming.
The extra two months apparently weren’t long enough, though. Gambet DC’s iOS and Android apps won’t be available until early June. The platform will be available first through a web browser only.
The app won’t be widely advertised during the soft launch. A “full-scale advertising and marketing campaign” will begin when there’s a more robust sports schedule, Jordan said.
Terrible Intralot odds, part 2
The lotteries in DC and Montana both awarded Intralot their sports betting operations without a public bid. Sports bettors in their jurisdictions will pay a premium for that.
Half of the week one NFL point spreads are listed at -118 for both sides, with the Bengals as high as -139. The vast majority of odds for the upcoming UFC Fight Night this Saturday are also worse compared to other US sportsbooks.
DC sports betting has other applicants
DC sports betting is a bit of a unique situation. Along with the lottery’s official platform, stadiums, arenas, and sports bars can offer sports betting as well.
The country’s first in-arena sportsbook will be powered by William Hill at Capital One Arena. William Hill’s application is still listed as under review, even though the 30-to-45 day timeline from a completed application passed earlier this month.
The coronavirus affected William Hill’s business operations, which is slowing the competition of the process, Jordan said.
“We are working with William Hill to complete this process as soon as possible,” she added.
First sports bar applicant, too
Handle 19 also became the first Class B license applicant as of last week.
The company is planning to open a retail sports bar so it can also offer sports betting. Handle 19 should be offering sports betting this fall, CEO Shane August said.
Handle 19 partnered with Newgioco, which is in the process of completing its application for its sports betting technology.