DC Sports Betting Report On GambetDC Delayed Yet Again

Posted on August 26, 2021
DC sports betting
Posted By on August 26, 2021

It does not take long looking at the statistics from the DC sports betting market to see that GambetDC is failing — unless it is for an official report that could change how DC sports betting operates, it seems.

An audit on the performance of GambetDC was due in May. That requirement was part of the law that authorized DC sportsbooks, but the Office of the DC Auditor purportedly knew nothing about it.

The report has been in the works since then but the goal line for the report’s release has continued to shift from the first estimated finish date of the end of June. Mid-September looks like the next possible timeline, according to an email from a spokesperson:

“This is moving slooooowly internally and will definitely move into September. That’s about as accurate as I can be right now, but can say very likely by mid-September.”

Report could shift DC sports betting tides

GambetDC is the only sportsbook with mobile access throughout the District, aside from federal land. But it does not have to be.

There are two models allowed in the law, and the audit is supposed to show if the right model was picked. Currently, other sportsbooks in the District are geofenced to two blocks from their land-based partners while paying a 10% tax rate.

They could have access to the full District, though, while paying a 20% tax on sports betting revenue:

“The Office may offer a mobile or on-line sports wagering product, either by taxing mobile and on-line licensed retailers at a rate of 20%, without limit to the number of licenses issued, or through contract with a limited number of partners operating an Office of Lottery and Gaming mobile and web-based sports wagering operation, whichever can be shown to return the most revenue to the District.”

DC bettors have suggested the GambetDC offering is not cutting it. Despite the pandemic, many waited in hours-long lines to place their bets at the temporary William Hill book at Capital One Arena to avoid GambetDC’s over-juiced odds from Lottery partner Intralot.

BetMGM, the second commercial sportsbook to launch in DC, is also starting to eat into market share after its first full month.

GambetDC asking bettors what they want

It’s clear GambetDC is failing by whatever numbers you look at, whether that’s the fact a geofenced mobile app is crushing it in market share or the consistently falling financial expectations that are still too high.

It seems like those at the Office of Lottery and Gaming finally realize it, too. A survey called “GambetDC Prospective Players Survey” was sent by email Monday.

Along with standard questions of age range, gender and favorite sports, there are a few telling questions. The survey asks respondents to rank five sports betting brands by their available markets, odds and payout structures, and user experience:

The survey also asks for the first word that comes to mind for all five sportsbooks.

When are other DC sportsbooks coming?

There are now three sports betting options live in DC, with more coming eventually. Exactly when is not easy to find out.

Retail GambetDC kiosks are rolling out right now. Others want to get started before the NFL betting season starts, but that might not happen.

Elys Game Technologies expects to be the first Class B operator live in the District through its partnership with bar Grand Central. The licensing process is taking a bit of time, though, the company mentioned on its most recent earnings call.

There has been no update on where licensing stands for about five weeks now. The OLG used to update a file called the Sports Wagering License Application Status on a weekly basis, but that has not been updated since July 16.

An OLG spokesperson said the file would be updated by Tuesday, though that has not yet happened.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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