DC Sports Betting Handle Rises in August Amid Stiff Competition

DC Sports Betting Handle Rises in August Amid Stiff Competition
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Sports wagering in the District of Columbia increased in August as the combined handle for both the D.C. Lottery’s online Gambet platform and commercial sportsbooks were up 15.9% from the $11.3 million in July.

The market in the nation’s capital remains a small fraction of the handle and revenue produced by sports betting in Virginia. August numbers have yet to come out in Virginia.

In August, the total handle was about $13.1 million with just $3.4 million booked by Gambet, according to a monthly report from the D.C. Lottery. The other $9.7 million in bets was placed at the non-Gambet sportsbooks – including BetMGM Sportsbook, Caesars, FanDuel and a mobile location at the Grand Central restaurant.

The combined revenue for Gambet and non-Gambet sports betting was $1,832,685, up 63.9% from July ($1,118,371).

Looking at the August online sports betting Gross Gaming Revenue (non-Gambet) $1,274,698, that figure is also up 92.9% from July ($660,754), while revenue from Gambet (amount played minus amount won) $557,987, is up 21.9% from July ($457,617).

The month ended with sports betting tax revenue (non-Gambet) of $127,470, up 92.9% from July ($66,075).

The handle number for August were similar to the D.C. revenue for June, a month in which the district had $13.76 million in sports betting action.

Gambet alone has maintained an average $3 million handle for June, July and August. Year-to-date figures for 2022 show Gambet handling $52.3 million with $45.2 million paid out to winning bettors based on 1.7 million wagers.

Also, according to a release issued this week, Elys Game Technology gained approval from the DC Department of Small & Local Business Development to run sports betting at the Ozio Lounge on M Street, similar to the Grand Central operation. The DC Office of Lottery and Gaming still has to approve the deal.

Things will get interesting when neighboring state Maryland launches its own mobile sports betting service statewide.

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Virginia Sports Betting Remains Strong

Looking south of DC, Virginia launched mobile online sports wagering in January 2021 with FanDuel Sportsbook VA the first one out of the gate. Today there are 13 mobile sportsbooks available in the commonwealth.

The state handled an average $300 million a month through 2021 from sports bettors. In the first 11 months that legal and regulated online sports wagering was in operation in Virginia, bettors wagered $3.2 billion on a variety of sporting events.

The first Virginia retail sportsbook was opened on July 8 with the grand opening of the Hard Rock Bristol Casino.

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Pressure on D.C. From The North

Turning north of DC, Maryland's Sports Wagering Application Review Commission, along with the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, have hopes of launching mobile sports wagering in November or December.

Maryland entered the sports betting market in December 2021 by first opening retail sportsbooks at MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino, Horseshoe Casino, Ocean Downs Casino and Hollywood Casino Perryville.

Maryland-based Bingo World and Riverboat on the Potomac also launched sports betting at their locations recently.

These seven retail sportsbooks handled $18.8 million from bettors in August and paid out $15.4 million in winnings. Caesars Sportsbook Virginia is among the major national operators with retail sports betting deals in Maryland. The launch of mobile sport wagering will surely cause the state's handle to skyrocket.

The state plans to award up to 30 retail facilities and 60 mobile licenses for sports wagering.



Keith Stein is a Virginia-based writer for BetVirginia.com who covers sports betting and casinos.

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