DC sports betting is far from perfect, but the DC Lottery did themselves no favors this weekend.
GambetDC – the only sportsbook available throughout the majority of the District – was not operational on Apple devices for Super Bowl betting before and during the game.
The app launched with a dark screen and a pop-up that read ‘error.’ That meant the only two iOS apps that worked in DC on Super Bowl Sunday were BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook. Those apps require the bettor to be within a two-block radius of their respective sports franchise partners, though.
DC sports betting outage because of missed update
The DC sports betting market has had a lot of self-inflicted wounds, but this one is truly impressive.
The GambetDC app did not get a required update, according to a DC Lottery spokesperson:
“The Office of Lottery and Gaming’s (OLG) mobile app provider did not obtain approval from Apple for a required update resulting in the temporary removal of the GambetDC mobile app from the Apple iOS platform.
“OLG is reviewing the impact of Sunday’s outage on sales. It is important to note that GambetDC was operational, and players could bet using our website (desktop or mobile), Android app or at one of our 39 retail locations throughout the District.”
In other words, no one made sure the GambetDC app for Apple devices was ready for the biggest sports betting day of the year.
DC could change the rules but will not
Sports betting in DC is far from perfect. Over-juiced odds provided by Intralot through GambetDC and other apps locked to physical footprints is not a recipe for success.
That is supported by underwhelming results since GambetDC launched at the end of May 2020. The Office of the DC Auditor agreed in its review of GambetDC’s performance:
“When compared to both the William Hill sportsbook in the District and to results in other states, GambetDC did not perform as well.”
The most frustrating part, though, is that this does not have to be the way DC sports betting operates. Instead of paying a 10% tax on sports betting revenue, private operators could pay 20% and get the same District-wide access GambetDC has.
Maybe change will finally come, though. DC Councilmember Elissa Silverman tweeted she was less than pleased with the news of GambetDC being unavailable on Apple devices for the Super Bowl.
No recent DC sports betting updates
The GambetDC iOS app is not the only thing lacking updates.
The DC Lottery has not posted results for January for either GambetDC (due Feb. 5) or the private operators (due Feb. 15).
The District’s sports betting license application status report, which was routinely updated on a weekly basis, just saw its first update of the new year on Feb. 4 after more than two months of stagnation.
The update included no new information on where FanDuel Sportsbook stands in its licensing process.