BetMGM is finally live in the DC sports betting market, which is yet another bad sign for Lottery-run GambetDC.
It took BetMGM just under four months to go live after submitting its application packet Feb. 12. It’s the third mobile sportsbook app to launch in Washington DC in the year-plus the market has been live.
The joint venture between MGM Resorts and Entain launched through a partnership with the MLB‘s Washington Nationals. A retail sportsbook at Nationals Park will launch later this year, according to MGM’s official release.
BetMGM might be a little late to the DC sports betting party, but there should still be plenty of opportunities to pick up disgruntled GambetDC customers.
BetMGM has unique advantage in DC market
BetMGM likely becomes the most well-known sportsbook brand in the Washington DC market despite only launching Thursday.
MGM Resorts owns and operates MGM National Harbor, which sits just minutes away from DC in Maryland. No doubt those on MGM’s mailing list in the area will hear about the launch one way or another soon enough.
Maryland sports betting is also launching this fall, giving BetMGM even more reason to fire up the marketing machine.
BetMGM is also one of the seven legal Virginia sportsbooks operating just over its southern border. That gives commuters from Virginia another familiar book to bet with while in DC.
It also means those in the DC area have likely been inundated by those Jamie Foxx-led BetMGM commercials for months now.
Brand limited by weird DC rules – for now
The only thing holding BetMGM back is its lack of availability throughout the entire District.
Only GambetDC has that right under the current rules. Both BetMGM and William Hill‘s apps are geofenced to a two-block radius of their respective partners’ arena or stadium. William Hill operates from Capital One Arena downtown.
That means people will have to travel to use BetMGM, but that has not deterred DC bettors in the past. GambetDC’s over-juiced odds led plenty of bettors to wait in hours-long lines at the retail William Hill sportsbook before its app launched in January.
Those rules could be changing. An audit of DC sports betting results was due at the beginning of May to see if the current model was working or whether an open model that taxed sportsbooks at 20% of their sports betting revenue instead of 10% would be better for the District.
That audit was not completed, however, because the Office of the District Columbia Auditor didn’t know it had to do it. The office told LSR it hopes to have the audit completed by the end of this month.