Can You Use FanDuel Sportsbook In DC At Age 18? It Depends

Can You Use FanDuel Sportsbook In DC At Age 18? It Depends
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

When FanDuel officially took over as the online sportsbook operator in the District of Columbia last week, it marked the first time in a U.S. jurisdiction that the Flutter Entertainment brand began accepting online wagers from 18-year-olds.

In 24 of the 25 previous states where FanDuel has launched online sports betting apps, retail sportsbooks or both, the operator’s age limit for bettors was 21 and up. That includes the FanDuel Virginia Sportsbook. The only exception is the retail sportsbook FanDuel operates at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort on the Suquamish Tribe’s land in Washington state. The age limit there, according to the sportsbook’s rules, is 18 and up.

Most states that have legalized sports betting, including Virginia, have set their rules to the higher age limit. Kentucky and Wyoming set their online sports betting age limits at 18, but FanDuel has still opted for the higher age limit in those states.

A D.C. Office of Lottery and Gaming spokesperson confirmed for that the requirement for the District’s online operator is 18, which is set by D.C. statutes. Virginia sports betting launched in January 2021; in D.C., operations began in 2020.

Must be 21+ to participate and present in VA. T&Cs apply.

Move Made To Generate More Money For D.C.

The OLG formally approved the change last month, with FanDuel taking over for Intralot, which holds the sports betting contract in D.C. Since 2020, the Greek gaming technology company had offered GambetDC, which had been widely panned by many because of the poor odds it offered bettors. As a result, wagering traffic was a fraction of what had been promised to the District. Since October, the beginning of D.C.’s fiscal year, GambetDC reported a handle of $36.7 million and revenues of nearly $3.5 million.

In the release announcing the approval last month, lottery officials cited FanDuel’s “strong national presence” and regional dominance as the reasons they approved the switch. OLG said FanDuel enjoys a 50% market share in neighboring states, which includes its Virginia mobile betting operation.

The Virginia Lottery does not disclose individual operator performance. In Maryland, FanDuel’s app has accepted nearly $1.8 billion in wagers and reported taxable revenues of $157.1 million for the current fiscal year, which began in July. That represents 44.8% of the state’s handle and 59% of all online operator revenues.

“FanDuel’s industry-leading offering will ensure that the District maximizes revenue under its existing contracts this year while delivering a best-in-class experience for 18+ residents,” said Frank Suarez, Executive Director of OLG.

The District might also see more bettors between the ages of 18 and 20 come to the nation’s capital from neighboring states, where the age limit is 21. Dr. Carolyn Hawley is the president of the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling. An associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s College of Health Professions Department of Rehabilitation Counseling, Hawley said she has concerns about 18-year-olds betting on sports in general.

“We know the earlier someone engages in these behaviors, the more likely they are to develop problems from them, so we want to delay this process,” she told on Wednesday.

Some D.C. Spots Still Off Limits

While 18-year-olds will be able to download the FanDuel app in D.C., there are still restrictions in general on where anyone can use the app to make wagers. The District’s sports betting laws prohibit wagering on federally owned property, including places like the National Mall, the Capitol, the White House and Rock Creek Park. In addition, the District’s major sports venues have exclusive rights to operate sports betting within a two-block radius of their facility. That includes Nationals Park, where BetMGM is the operator, and Capital One Arena, where Caesars Sportsbook is offered. Both BetMGM and Caesars have mobile apps that can be used in those areas, but the age limit is set for 21 and up at both. Those two and FanDuel are among several operators offering Virginia sportsbook promotions.

Audi Field, where the D.C. United of MLS and Washington Spirit of NWSL play professional soccer, has a deal in place with FanDuel, which operates a retail sportsbook there. However, the FanDuel app will not be available within the two-block radius surrounding the southeastern D.C. stadium.

A company representative told that the FanDuel retail sportsbook is open to adults 21 and up and will remain so.

USA Today photo by Geoff Burke



Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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