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Washington Nationals center fielder James Wood (50) celebrates as we explore the Washington D.C. sports betting revenue reports for May.
Washington Nationals center fielder James Wood (50) celebrates at first base after hitting an RBI single against the New York Mets during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. Photo by Rafael Suanes / USA TODAY Sports by Imagn.

It was an inauspicious start for sports betting in the nation's capital as things stagnated in the early years of legalized wagering. All it took was a switch in operator to one of our best sports betting sites to reach record highs in the district.

FanDuel took over as the leading operator in the DC sports betting market just under three months ago. Last week, the DC Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) reported its best numbers since allowing the country's best sportsbooks to set up shop in May 2019.

DC drew $36.34 million in wagers in May with a total revenue of $5.63 million - both all-time records for the district. FanDuel was responsible for a whopping $29.73 million, more than 80% of the total handle. You can check out what the betting behemoth offers with our FanDuel promo code.

FanDuel fixes DC betting mess

Last week's revenue report was a further endorsement of the move to have FanDuel replace the struggling GambetDC as the official sports betting partner of OLG and Intralot, which collectively run sports betting in the district.

Before the move, GambetDC was widely criticized for its lack of basic functionality, customer service, and appealing DC sportsbook promos as revenues floundered. That all changed in April.

It didn't take long for FanDuel to take the DC sports betting to new heights as its primary operator, drawing a $26.6 million handle with more than 680,000 bets in the first 30 days - more than GambetDC had accepted in the first three months of 2024.

That April handle was easily a record for the district and remained for exactly one month before FanDuel upped the ante in May. With $4.86 million in revenue on a 16.4% hold rate, the arrow is trending up for DC's overall sports betting scene.

Competition on the way?

While it's seemingly all smiles for FanDuel and the other stakeholders in charge of DC sports betting, that could change in the coming months after the DC Council approved the 2025 budget and paved the way for more competition.

The new budget includes a special provision that will create a new Class C license, allowing any sports betting operator to partner with one of the area's professional sports teams and offer mobile betting in the district. That cuts directly against the market exclusivity enjoyed by FanDuel, which currently pays a 40% tax rate as the sole partner of the DC Lottery.

On June 5, FanDuel's president, Christian Genetski, sent a letter to the City Council threatening to end mobile betting in DC by invoking its termination right if such a provision was included in the new budget. Sure enough, the budget was approved on June 25 and will go into effect on July 15.

The new provisions will allow BetMGM and Caesars — which already have existing deals with local sports venues—to offer mobile betting across the district. Other leading sportsbooks, such as Fanatics or ESPN BET, could join the fray under a new Class C license.

Even without mobile betting, Caesars still logged $2.73 million in accepted wagers in May via its retail sportsbook at Capital One Arena, though it profited just $145,800 on a 5.35% hold. BetMGM brought in $1.57 million at Nationals Park but collected $217,400 in profit on an impressive 13.88% hold.