William Hill and BetMGM, however, can only be used within two blocks of Capital One Arena and Nationals Park, respectively. FanDuel will also join the ranks through a partnership with Audi Stadium, home of DC United (MLS).
At the end of the day, the complexity of online sports betting in Washington, DC isn’t ideal. But it is better than the many states with no online betting whatsoever.
Best DC Sports Betting Apps
Washington, DC Sports Betting Updates
- June 9, 2021:
May 26, 2021:
William Hill Sportsbook To Officially Open: On May 26, 2021, the full-sized William Hill Sportsbook will finally open at Capital One Arena. This comes after months of a “temporary sportsbook” at the arena as the brand waited out the pandemic.
May 21, 2021:
Betting Handle Falls To $10.74 Million In April 2021: According to the Office of Lottery and Gaming released on May 21, 2021, the total April sports betting handle (retail and online) fell to $10.74. That’s even lower than pandemic numbers.
May 18, 2021:
Maryland Legalizes Sports Betting: On May 18, 2021, Governor Larry Hogan signed legal sports betting into law. Apps won’t launch until the fall, but up to 60 platforms could launch in the state, more than anywhere else in the US.
May 6, 2021:
BetMGM App Announced In And Around Nationals Park: BetMGM and the Washington Nationals partnered in January 2021 to bring a retail sportsbook into the stadium as well as offer online sports betting within two blocks. The app is set to launch in June 2021.
May 1, 2021:
Washington Football Team To Get New Stadium: WFT owner Dan Snyder is planning to build a new stadium in the DMV area by 2027, which would likely include a retail sportsbook and sports betting app. Specifics are still in the works, particularly given the more than five-year timeline.
DC Sportsbooks Apps for June 2021
Best for DC Bettors
At BetMGM DC
Available On: iOS, Android, Web Browser
States Accepted: CO, IN, IA, MI, NJ, NV, PA, TN, WV, VA, DC
Best for DC Bettors
BetMGM Washington, DC
Best for New Bettors
At William Hill DC
Available On: iOS and Android
States Accepted: CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, NJ, NV, TN, VA, WV
Best for New Bettors
William Hill Washington, DC
Capital One Arena
Best for iOS and Android App
At FanDuel DC
Available On: iOS, Android, Web Browser
States Accepted: NJ, PA, IL, IN, IA, CO, WV, TN, MI, VA
Best for iOS and Android App
FanDuel Washington, DC (Coming Fall 2021)
Other Washington, DC Sports Betting App
- Welcome Bonus: 100% deposit bonus between $10 and $100
- Available: Almost anywhere in Washington, DC
- Platforms: iOS app, Android app, Web browser
- Partnership: Run by the Office of Lottery and Gaming
- Key Features: Separate pre-game and in-game betting sections; parlay boosters; special prop bet offers; available almost anywhere in DC
- Best Deposit Method: Online bank transfer as well as prepaid card and Skrill.
- Overall Rating: 5.0/10
GambetDC is a lottery-run online sportsbook powered by the DC Lottery. It’s the only platform available almost anywhere in the district (other than federal enclaves like the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial), and it allows bettors 18 and up.
GambetDC is a not-for-profit brand and therefore offers pretty terrible odds. While the commercial sportsbooks charge the standard vig of around 4.5%, GambetDC can charge as much as 8% to deter problem gambling. That makes the lottery-run option subpar compared to its more competitive (although less accessible) counterparts.
New members of the GambetDC app can receive a 100% deposit match of up to $100.
All Washington, DC Sportsbook Sites
|Sportsbook||Bonus Offer||Local Partner||Launch Date|
|GambetDC||100% deposit-match up to $100||DC Lottery||May 2020|
|William Hill||Risk-free bet up to $500||Capital One Arena||December 2020|
|BetMGM||Risk-free bet up to $600||Nationals Park||June 2021|
|FanDuel||Risk-free bet up to $1,000||Audi Field||Fall 2021|
How To Place A Bet In Washington, DC
Step 1: Be In The Right Place
You can bet via the lottery-run GambetDC app anywhere in the district except for federal enclaves. You can find a map of exactly where you need to be on the GambetDC website.
For other sports betting apps in DC, you need to be within a two-block radius of its partnering professional sports venue. The same restrictions on federal enclaves apply to commercial betting apps, like William Hill and FanDuel, as well.
While you have to be at least 18 years old, you do not have to be a resident of Washington, DC to place a bet via any of the DC sports betting apps.
Step 2: Register And Deposit
Click the “register” or “signup” button to create an account at the sports betting app. You’ll need to provide your basic identifying information, so be sure it matches the info on your ID.
Then make a deposit using PayPal, online bank transfer, Skrill, e-check, or prepaid card. Credit card payments are often considered cash advance transactions, which come with fees.
Step 3: Place Bets
Select the bet you’d like to place, enter the amount of your wager, and submit the bet to the betslip. You can also select multiple bets and combine them into a parlay wager to maximize the payout.
Washington, DC Legal Sportsbooks
It’s far safer to bet via legally licensed online sportsbooks in DC—or neighboring states with legal sports betting—than it is to join an offshore, illegal website. GambetDC, William Hill, BetMGM, and FanDuel all follow strict player protection rules that ensure the most secure betting experience.
There are many reasons to avoid an illegal sports betting site, but these are the most notable:
- Compromised personal information
- Refusal to pay winnings
- Hidden terms and conditions and other predatory practices
Then there’s the small chance of getting into legal trouble for betting at an illegal site. While it’s not likely, it’s an unnecessary risk.
Washington, DC Sports Betting Revenue
Washington, DC sports betting revenue has remained relatively consistent even though the overall sports betting handle went down.
As recently as April 2021, online sportsbooks in DC handled over 25% fewer sports bets compared to March 2021. Despite that, the sportsbooks still generated a comparable amount of revenue.
In total, the two DC online betting apps and the Capital One Arena sportsbook handled $10.74 million in sports bets. That’s nothing compared to powerhouses like New Jersey, with its sports betting handle totaling just under $1 billion per month. But for its population size of around 800,000, it’s about expected.
How Washington, DC Compares To Other Jurisdictions
Washington, DC pales in comparison to its two neighboring states. Even when FanDuel Sportsbook launches in the district, there will be access to only three commercial online sportsbooks and all are restricted to within two blocks of their partner venues.
However, Washington, DC does allow sports betting for those 18 and up. Maryland and Virginia require sports bettors to be at least 21 years old.
Maryland online sports betting became legal as recently as May 2021, so regulators still need to create rules and issue licenses. But the Maryland market can have up to 60 different online sports betting apps and sites, so it will blow DC out of the water upon launch.
Like DC, the Commonwealth of Virginia launched online sportsbooks despite having no local casinos. But unlike DC, the Virginia sports betting apps are all private companies that offer their services to anyone over 21 in the Commonwealth. That means more accessibility, better overall odds, and more promotions.
Washington, DC Betting Successes And Failures
DC Sports Betting Success
The legalization of sports betting in Washington, DC was a success for the entire US because it set a precedent: if the country’s capital can legalize it, why can’t we? It’s a point you often see made in regards to DC legalizing marijuana too.
In terms of Washington, DC’s sports betting market itself, the rollout was a success insofar as it’s legal to bet on sports online in the district. That’s more than most US states can say, including the top three most populated: California, Texas, and Florida.
Where Could DC Improve Online Gambling?
The Washington, DC sports betting market is subpar compared to nearby states like Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Those markets allow for many more online sportsbooks, all of which are available no matter where you are in the state.
Further, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, along with Michigan, offer online casinos and legal poker sites as well. So not only is the district’s online sports betting market lesser than all those states, it has a third as many online gambling options.
If local lawmakers in DC see enough revenue go to Maryland, which is expected to have a far better sports betting market, online sportsbooks other than GambetDC may become more accessible.
Legalization Effort In Washington, DC
While the case came out of a battle in New Jersey, the US Supreme Court met in the Supreme Court Building at One First Street to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018. This paved the way for states and territories outside of Nevada to legalize online sports betting.
That same year, DC Councilmember Jack Evans–who resigned in 2020 amid ethics violations as the longest-running politician in the district’s history–introduced Act 22-594, the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018. Signed into law on May 3, 2019, the act legalized a lottery-run sports betting model in the state with professional stadiums allowed to open a retail sportsbook and accept online bets within a two-block radius.
The success of the lottery-run model came despite huge lobbying pushes from giants like FanDuel and DraftKings as well as DC sports teams, who wanted the more profitable casino-style model. That’s the model employed in both Virginia and Maryland. This could spell big competition challenges for the district moving forward.
Thankfully, William Hill (Capital One Arena) and BetMGM (Nationals Park) are available to those physically located inside the partnering stadiums or within a two-block radius. Bettors who live nearby or are willing to make the trek can find high-quality odds on par with any other state in the US.
FanDuel is also expected to launch through a partnership with DC United’s Audi Field by the end of 2021.
Timeline of Washington, DC Sports Betting
- May 14, 2018: PASPA is overturned by the US Supreme Court, allowing states and jurisdictions to legalize online sports betting.
- September 2018: DC Councilmember Jack Evans introduces the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018.
- December 18, 2018: The DC Council passes the act, effectively legalizing online sports betting in the district pending the rest of the legislative process, such as the mayor’s signature and approval from Congress.
- March 27, 2019: CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Ted Leonsis, announces that Greene Turtle restaurant at Capital One Arena will be converted into a sportsbook pending legalization.
- May 3, 2019: Sports betting officially becomes legal in Washington, DC, leaving regulators to create rules and regulations and create the GambetDC app.
- October 3, 2019: William Hill Sportsbook is announced as the sports betting venue inside Capital One Arena.
- May 29, 2020: The DC Lottery launches GambetDC, officially ushering in legal online sports betting.
- August 3, 2020: William Hill and Capital One Arena open the very first sportsbook located inside a US sports venue.
- December 29, 2020: William Hill Sportsbook launches its app for use within a two-block radius of Capital One Arena.
- May 2021: BetMGM DC to launch in partnership with the Washington Nationals, giving bettors access to the app within two blocks of Nationals Park.
Washington, DC Professional Sports Teams
Here is a list of Washington, DC’s professional sports teams:
- Washington Football Team (NFL)
- Washington Nationals (MLB)
- DC United (MLS)
- Washington Capitals (NHL)
- Washington Wizards (NBA)
- Washington Mystics (WNBA)
Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team’s home stadium is FedExField, which is technically located in Maryland. So there won’t be a DC sports betting app associated with WFT, but you will be able to bet via Maryland sports betting apps come September or October 2021.
Both inside DC and in all states with legal sports betting, the Washington Football Team is one of the most popular options for betting. Not only is the NFL the number one most popular sport for regular season betting in the US, Washington Football Team has millions of fans across the country.
Nationals Park will open a BetMGM Sportsbook in the coming months, and the BetMGM app will be available within two blocks of the iconic red, white, and blue ballpark. In the meantime, betting on the Washington Nationals remains a favorite pastime as old as the team itself.
Capital One Arena Teams
Capital One Arena is home to the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the WNBA’s Washington Mystic, the NHL’s Washington Capitals, and America’s first in-stadium sportsbook, William Hill. It’s a sports bettor’s paradise on ice.
The MLS is getting more popular every season, and sports betting can only help that trend–especially when FanDuel Sportsbook opens inside Audi Field, located just 0.2 miles from Nationals Park. The FanDuel app will also be available within two blocks of the pitch.
Washington, DC College Sports Teams
The following are the NCAA Division 1 college schools located in Washington, DC:
- American University
- George Washington
- George Mason
- Howard University
Unfortunately, you cannot bet on any DC college teams or on any college games that take place within the district. You can bet on any D1 college sports that take place outside of the district as long as no DC college teams are participating.
This is a common restriction even in states with the most liberal sports betting laws. For example, New Jersey restricts bets on college games taking place in the state and on any in-state schools, regardless of where they’re played.
Essentially, Washington, DC and New Jersey have the same restrictions on college sports betting.
Thankfully, this is a town with alumni from all over the country. Many DC bars are college bars for out-of-state schools like Penn Quarter Sports Tavern for Syracuse fans or Kelly’s Irish Times for Penn State fans.
Further, you can visit Virginia, Maryland, or any other state with legal sports betting and place bets on Washington, DC teams.
You can also bet on DC adjacent teams at sportsbooks inside the district. For example, you can bet on the University of Maryland, Mount St. Mary’s, and Bowie State.
Other Sports To Bet On In Washington, DC
You can bet on both domestic and international professional sports in Washington, DC. That means the following competitions are fair game:
- Formula One
- European soccer
- Aussie rules football
- Asian baseball
The list goes on. If the DC Lottery allows the wager, then it will be available for betting. If not, you can also reach out to the sportsbook to request the line.
Washington, DC is one of the few jurisdictions that completely restrict betting on horse racing. That means no in-district tracks, off-track betting (OTB) facilities, or horse race betting sites.
But Washington, DC is home to several soccer bars, which air even the earliest European soccer matches. This gives soccer bettors a community outlet for betting on and viewing the games.
High-profile MMA and boxing matches are shown at a variety of bars across town as well–another opportunity for fighting bettors to create communal atmospheres.
Washington, DC Sports Betting FAQs
18 and up. You must be at least 18 years old to bet online in Washington, DC. This goes for the GambetDC app, William Hill DC, and BetMGM DC. The 18 and up age restriction applies to both online and in-person sports betting in the district.
Yes, it is legal to bet on college sports in Washington, DC; however, it is illegal to bet on any DC college teams or to bet on a college game that takes place in the district. For example, it is legal to bet on the Maryland Terrapins but illegal to bet on the Georgetown Hoyas.
No, you do not need to be a resident of Washington, DC to bet online in the district. This applies to retail sportsbooks as well, such as the William Hill Sportsbook at Capital One Arena. The only requirement is that you’re at least 18 years old.
Yes, you can bet on your iPhone in Washington, DC via legally licensed apps. The only app available everywhere in DC is the GambetDC app, powered by the DC Lottery. William Hill is available within two blocks of Capital One Arena, and BetMGM is available within two blocks of Nationals Park.
Sort of. DraftKings DFS (daily fantasy sports) is legal in Washington, DC and is accessible to anyone over 18 in the state. However, DraftKings Sportsbook is not available in DC, nor are there any reported plans to launch the DraftKings sports betting app in the district.
Yes, FanDuel DFS (daily fantasy sports) is available in Washington, DC FanDuel Sportsbook will also open at DC United’s Audi Field, and the FanDuel Sportsbook app will be available within two blocks of the stadium. The launch is expected in September or October 2021.
More Resources On Washington, DC Sports Betting
- DC Office of Lottery and Gaming – in charge of regulating sports betting as well as operating the GambetDC app.
- DC Law 22-312 – the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 in its entirety.
- Monthly Revenue Reports – for DC sports betting, usually released midway through the following month.
- More on the Repeal of PASPA that paved the way for legal sports betting in the district – and everywhere else in the US outside of Nevada.
- Virginia Sports Betting – your complete guide to betting on sports in VA.
- Maryland Sports Betting – your complete guide to betting on sports in MA.
- Washington, DC Sports News – courtesy of ABC 7’s WJLA.
- Subscribe to Gaming Today for the latest sports betting news, tips, and insights.