FanDuel’s Promising Start Confirms Strong Sports Betting Appetite in DC

FanDuel Sportsbook officially replaced GambetDC as DC’s only online wagering operator on April 15. Data from the first two weeks of FanDuel’s operations suggest that Washington’s bettors have welcomed the switch.

In the two-week period between April 15 and 28, FanDuel managed to collect $13.5 million in handle, which was up by more than 370% year-on-year, compared to the same period in 2023. FanDuel also collected $2.3 million in gross revenue in just two weeks after taking over from GambetDC.

For context, GambetDC failed to cross $18 million in monthly handle since 2020, peaking at $17.1 million in November last year. In just two weeks, FanDuel has already almost reached that peak. In 2023, DC collected $170 million in handle. At a hold rate of 11.6%, total revenue collected totaled $19 million, which brought in $5.4 million in tax revenue for the state. FanDuel’s collection in the first two weeks was more than 40% of that annual tally.

DC’s Betting History

DC sports betting has one of the most unique scenes in the US. After signing a deal with the DC Council in 2019, Intralot, the betting company operating GambetDC, took over as the only betting app in the region.

However, BetMGM and Caesars are allowed to operate retail locations, in close proximity (a two-block radius) to the stadiums of the teams they have signed partnerships with. BetMGM had partnered with the Washington Nationals (Nationals Park) and Caesars operated a retail location at the Capital One Arena, which is home to the Capitals, the Washington Wizards in the NBA, and the Mystics in the WNBA.

GambetDC has faced several issues with its app in the region, including usability issues and complaints about various features. “I’ve heard from many residents about their unease with the district’s woeful performance in sports betting. And I absolutely share those same sentiments, from issues around usability, customer service, and seriously declining revenue. We know the current model simply is not working,” DC Council’s Committee on Business and Economic Development Chair Kenyan McDuffie said.

According to a press release in March, the Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) announced that residents of DC would gain access to FanDuel Sportsbook instead of GambetDC. “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,” Frank Suarez, Executive Director of OLG, said.

“FanDuel’s mobile sports wagering platform will be available to both residents and visitors inside the geographic boundaries of the District of Columbia. The new partnership will bring immediate financial benefit to the District, including an initial $5M fee payable by Intralot within the current fiscal year. The initial fee alone guarantees a significant revenue increase from sports wagering for the District in 2024,” the release stated.

The release also stated that Intralot will take on the OLG’s operating costs related to sports betting. GambetDC’s in-store betting kiosks would also be replaced by FanDuel in a phased approach. FanDuel presently acts as a subcontractor to Intralot.

What Does This Mean For DC?

FanDuel has proven its reputation as one of the best sports betting operators in the country, not just through this start in DC but also from its operations across the US. A strong betting app with competitive odds has already proved to bring some traction to DC’s betting appetite, which also brings in more tax dollars for the region.

GambetDC, through its five-year stint in DC, brought in a little over $4.2 million in tax receipts for the region. FanDuel has almost collected $1 million in just two weeks. While DC mulls a change to its tax laws, it’s apparent that bettors as well as the state itself have already witnessed a massive surge in interest with FanDuel’s strong start.


About the Author
Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro covers the sports betting industry and revenue reporting at Gaming Today. Much of his work analyzes state revenue information, including betting activity and revenue for individual states and sportsbook operators. In addition, Nikhil provides news updates on the gambling industry itself, including product launches and legal issues. Nikhil’s previous experience includes five years with ESPN.

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