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Fans walk past a Fanduel sports betting location as we look at FanDuel's takeover of GamBetDC
Fans walk past a Fanduel sports betting location at Footprint Center before Game Five of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images via AFP.

The disappointing tenure of GambetDC as the primary Washington DC sports betting app is finally over with FanDuel officially taking its place Monday.

Gambet has endured years of underwhelming sports betting results in the District as sports betting partner of the Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) and Intralot. 

Kenyan McDuffie, chairman of the D.C. Council Committee on Business recently said of the DC sports betting scene, “I’ve heard from many residents about their unease with the district’s woeful performance on sports betting. And I absolutely share those same sentiments, from issues around usability, customer service, and seriously declining revenue. We know the current model simply is not working.” 

Enter FanDuel, which replaces the perennial underachieving sports betting app. It is expecting to inject some much-needed energy and professionalism into a Washington, D.C. legal sports betting scene that has suffered from mismanagement and underwhelming results since launch.

As of Monday, at noon ET, FanDuel took over as the only jurisdiction-wide mobile app for the DC metro area. More of our best sports betting sites are present in the area but are confined for use within 2 blocks of their brick-and-mortar, stadium-based sportsbooks.

What FanDuel is expected to fix

The partnership between the DC lottery and GambetDC was plagued from the outset with the underwhelming quality of the overall platform. Usability issues were a frequent topic of conversation surrounding the Gambet app as were non-competitive odds put out by company oddsmakers.

FanDuel brings to the DC market one of the most popular and streamlined legal sports betting platforms in the world. It also brings competitive markets, an elite sports betting interface, bonuses, and overwhelming credibility for Washington, D.C., users to enjoy.

Intralot will still be in charge of the DC-wide sports betting app with FanDuel as its main contractor. But the switch to the top-tier U.S. legal sports betting brand is expected to make life a whole lot easier and a whole lot better for the Lottery and for Intralot.

As Frank Suarez, executive director of OLG commented, "FanDuel’s industry-leading offering will ensure that the District maximizes tax revenue under its existing contracts this year while delivering a best-in-class experience for 18-plus residents."

In an email to Sportsbook Review, FanDuel outlined the following with regard to its Washington, D.C., takeover:

  • D.C. residents and visitors can access the FanDuel app in the District as of noon today. Restrictions are in place on federal land, including the National Mall, White House, Capitol, Congressional office buildings, East Potomac Park, and Rock Creek Park.
  • The GambetDC app will stop accepting wagers on its mobile app and website on Monday, April 15 at 11:59 p.m. ET, and is no longer accepting deposits. Users will have until Oct. 15, 2024, to withdraw their funds.
  • The GambetDC to FanDuel transition at retail locations will occur via a phased approach later, before the end of 2024.
  • FanDuel is still promising to deliver all the benefits I shared in March.

Washington, D.C., expansion

The switch from GambetDC to FanDuel as the primary sports betting provider in the DC market comes on the heels of some serious talk about expansion for the District's platform.

D.C council member Kenyan McDuffie has proposed growing legal sports betting and giving current brick-and-mortar license holders an expanded role and an ability to launch their platforms across the jurisdiction.

Under his plan, BetMGM at Nationals Park, Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena, and FanDuel at Audi Field would be able to offer their services throughout the district, not just at the sports venue and a two-block radius around that location.

Exclusivity on the line

Intralot's exclusive sports betting contract with the D.C. lottery expires in mid-July, meaning that the entity in charge of the entirety of the District's legal sports betting scene will be forced to rule on the direction of sports betting in Washington, D.C., sooner rather than later. 

Will Intralot's new partnership with FanDuel maintain a virtual monopoly on District-wide mobile sports wagering, or will the McDuffie plan of expansion come to fruition?

As it stands, the lottery has proposed a two-year extension for Intralot in D.C. meaning that expansion isn't yet in the cards. FanDuel has a lot to gain if such an expansion is held up by the Lottery Commission. 

The yet-to-be-made decision could act as either a market-share boon for FanDuel or another stifling move of both BetMGM's and Caesars' desire to become bigger players in the Washington D.C. market.