Washington, D.C., passed the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018, legalizing both mobile and retail sports betting in the district.
The DC Lottery is the only provider currently permitted to offer citywide online sports betting, though commercial operators such as BetMGM and Caesars can provide online sports betting on-site at select sports stadiums in Washington.
Here’s everything you need to know about online sports betting in Washington, D.C.
Details About Sports Betting in the District of Columbia
- Washington, D.C., has some of the most unique online sports betting laws in the country. GambetDC, the DC Lottery’s mobile betting app, is available across Washington, while Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, and FanDuel are only available at specific sports stadiums in the district.
- While Washington’s mobile sports betting market is limited, the district does permit third-party retail sports betting.
- Washington’s sports betting laws allow for up to five mobile sports betting apps. With FanDuel on the way as the third commercial sportsbook, that leaves room for two more sports betting apps to launch in the future.
- While the district-run sports betting app GambetDC is the only one available districtwide, it has received much criticism due to performance issues.
- Aside from the DC Lottery-run app, all commercial sportsbook apps available in Washington are also required to have a physical location. Each physical location has a two-block radius in which bettors can use the company’s app.
Recent Sports Betting News in the District of Columbia
Washington, D.C., legalized sports betting with the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018, which allows for lottery-run mobile betting and third-party retail betting. While the district’s mobile betting industry is fairly restricted, it’s gradually expanding as more commercial sportsbooks enter the market. Here’s a look at some of the most recent developments in the District of Columbia’s sports betting industry:
- June 13, 2022: While Maryland has legalized mobile sports betting, there is still no date for launch. As a result, Washington’s betting industry will likely benefit from the lack of mobile betting options in Maryland this NFL season.
- June 1, 2022: Elys Game Technology announces it will open a retail sportsbook at BetDupont as part of its partnership with District Hospitality.
- May 16, 2022: Washington’s commercial sports betting industry reports a $13.2 million handle for April, leading to $828,629 in total revenue for the month.
- May 4, 2022: DC Lottery’s betting app GambetDC took in approximately $5.2 million in bets during April, accounting for $602,646 in revenue.
- April 21, 2022: Washington’s sportsbooks combined for a $20.4 million handle in March, including $14.2 million from commercial sportsbooks and $6.2 million from GambetDC.
- April 12, 2022: Elys Game Technology announces it will operate a new sportsbook at a restaurant or bar in Washington in partnership with allBETS DC. This is Elys Game’s third retail sportsbook deal.
- March 17, 2022: Commercial sportsbooks in Washington, D.C., took in $15.2 million in bets during February. Caesars Sportsbook alone accounted for over $11 million.
- Feb. 14, 2022: Bettors are unable to use GambetDC during the Super Bowl as the app did not receive approval from Apple for an update in time for the event. In addition to availability issues, GambetDC has become known for performance issues since its launch.
- Jan. 31, 2022: BetMGM officially opens its retail sportsbook at Nationals Park. Until now, BetMGM only offered mobile sports betting within a two-block radius of the stadium.
Online Sports Betting Apps Available in the District of Columbia
Currently, three online sports betting apps are available in the District of Columbia, including the DC Lottery-run betting app. FanDuel is coming soon as the district’s fourth mobile betting app and third commercial betting app. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the online sports betting apps available (or soon to be) in Washington:
|Sportsbook||Partner||Tech Supplier||Venue||Launch Date|
|BetMGM||Washington Nationals||Entain||Nationals Park||June 10, 2021|
|Caesars Sportsbook||Monumental Sports and Entertainment||Scientific Games||Capital One Arena||May 26, 2021|
|FanDuel||DC United||IGT||Audi Field||TBD|
|GambetDC||DC Lottery||Intralot||N/A||May 28, 2020|
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Apps Legal in the District of Columbia?
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) apps such as FanDuel and DraftKings allow players to call upon their sports knowledge to create fantasy teams and compete against other users in daily or weekly contests for cash and other prizes. The legality of these apps typically depends on how a given state classifies them — some view them as gambling while others see them as games of skill.
In Washington, D.C., there is no law that permits or bans DFS apps. So, while not explicitly legal, apps such as DraftKings and FanDuel can operate in the district, and residents 18 or older are able to participate in DFS contests.
How to Place Responsible Sports Bets in the District of Columbia
Anyone who is located in Washington, D.C., and is 18 or older can bet on sports by using the district-run GambetDC app, visiting a retail sportsbook, or using a commercial sports betting app while on-site at a licensed stadium.
For those interested in sports betting, it’s important to understand problem gambling is a serious issue that can negatively impact your personal life, career, mental health, and finances.
Keep these tips in mind to bet on sports responsibly:
- Don’t chase losses.
- Set a strict gambling budget.
- Take breaks from sports betting as necessary, or quit altogether if it’s negatively impacting other aspects of your life.
- Don’t place bets while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- Only use sports betting apps that are licensed to operate in Washington, D.C.
- Seek help immediately if you believe you may be addicted to gambling.
- Remember that sports betting is a form of entertainment, not a way to earn income.
Problem gambling can impact anybody, even those who believe they aren’t susceptible to addiction. If you think you may be addicted to gambling, contact the National Council on Problem Gambling Hotline at 1-800-522-4700 for assistance. You can also visit the National Council on Problem Gambling website to find additional resources in Washington.
District of Columbia Sports Betting FAQs
|Is online sports betting legal?||Yes|
|Is mobile sports betting legal?||Yes|
|Is betting legal at retail locations?||Yes|
|Minimum legal gambling age||18|
Editor’s Note: Information accurate as of June 2022.