DC Sports Betting Down in June As Summer Slide Continues

DC Sports Betting Down in June As Summer Slide Continues
By Bill Ordine
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Sports wagering in the District of Columbia dipped dramatically in June as the combined handle for both the D.C. Lottery’s online platform (known as Gambet) and the commercial sportsbooks (largely retail) were down more than 20% from the $17.23 million in May.

In June, the handle dollar-figure was about $13.76 million with just $3.77 million booked by Gambet and almost $10 million in bets placed at the non-Gambet sportsbooks, according to the D.C. Lottery.

And the combined revenue for Gambet and non-Gambet sports betting was down 50.4% from month-to-month. The June revenue was barely above $1 million whereas May was just a little more than $2 million.

Those figures are very small when compared to sports wagering in Virginia, where the handle topped $400 million per month for several months until falling to a bit more than $351 million in May.

Breakdown of D.C. Sports Betting

The June revenue breakdown in the nation’s capital was $556,009 from non-Gambet sportsbooks and $444,635 for the Gambet platform.

The slowdown in sports gambling had an obvious impact on tax collections. The June sports betting tax revenue for non-Gambet sportsbooks was just $55,601, down 57.0% from May’s $129,226.

In Washington, there are retail sportsbooks at sports venues, the Verizon Center and Nationals Park, and at a bar-restaurant, Grand Central on 18th Street NW.

Another retail sportsbook just opened in July at Audi Field, where D.C. United of Major League Soccer plays home games.

That location, the first sportsbook at an MLS stadium, is operated by FanDuel Sportsbook.

The retail books in Washington can also offer wagering on mobile devices within a tight radius of their physical locations.

Sports betting in Washington is challenged by the reality that potential business is siphoned off by Virginia’s robust online gambling industry, and by a major casino with a sportsbook, the MGM National Harbor, just across the Potomac in Prince George’s County, Maryland. It’s hard for D.C. to compete with offers that include Virginia sportsbook promo codes available everywhere in the state.

The competition will only get more formidable when Maryland finally launces online sports gambling, which may come later this year or at least sometime in 2023.

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Contributors

Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others

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