The District of Columbia's sports betting handle has made some considerable gains over the past three months, but October's result shows a drop in overall revenue.
And the nation’s capital is about to have much more competition very soon.
For October, the city handled a total of $24,801,500 in sports bets. That handle is 28.2% up from the $19.3 million for September DC sports betting report. That’s also the most wagered on sports in any month this year and the most since October 2021, when handle was $26.3 million. Sounds good, right? Let's continue.
DC has one major mobile betting app operating in the city, Gambet. Caesars has a sportsbook at Capital One Arena, BetMGM at Nationals Park, FanDuel at Audi Field and Grand Central sports bar is a Class B licensed facility taking bets.
The breakdown of October's total handle shows $7,528,701 came directly from Gambet with $17,272,799 from non-Gambet wagering. Retail sportsbooks are handling more than DC's Gambet app.
Caesars Sportsbook Virginia brought in the biggest handle for October at $8,299,696, based on 117,825 wagers. Grand Central had the lowest handle at $531,635 from 12,267 bets.
After paying out winning bets, October's total combined revenue (Gambet and non-Gambet) was $3,111,718, down 11.9% from September's $3,530,486. Now the losses start showing up.
October Online Revenue Declines
DC's October online sports betting Gross Gaming Revenue (non-Gambet) came in at $2,273,610, down 8.7% from September's $2,490,450. Things are getting worse and the DC offering simply does not stand up to the nearby Virginia sports betting apps.
October revenue from the Gambet app (amount played minus amount won) is $838,108, down 19.4% from September ($1,040,036).
In the end, the District of Columbia will collect $227,361 in tax revenue from October's sports betting handle, down 8.7% from September ($249,045).
DC bettors are waiting to see if City Council members will go through with new sports betting legislation introduced last month. The proposal would invite more mobile wagering apps into the Washington market.
Surrounded By Stronger Competition
The market for sports betting Virginia launched in 2021 and collected $411 million for September alone, compared to DC's $24 million for October. Virginia has 13 mobile sports betting apps and one retail location available in the state.
Maryland has eight retail locations available to sports bettors and reported a $39 million handle for October.
But that market, right next to DC, is about to change drastically.
The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) started awarding mobile licenses to operators on Wednesday with plans to launch online betting on Nov. 23. That launch, the day before Thanksgiving, could see several operators begin to take online bets depending on their ability to pass a “controlled demonstration” process that is typical for a new state before the market goes live.
This week, SWARC unanimously voted to award 10 mobile sports wagering licenses after the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Commission found those operators to be qualified. They include Maryland Stadium Sub, LLC, which is really FedEx Field, home of the Washington Commanders. It is expected that seven of those 10 operators will launch in the middle of next week.
As for DC’s other neighbor, VA sportsbook promos are available here at BetVirginia.com year-round.