FanDuel ‘Exceeded Expectations’ With Washington DC Launch

The arrival of a national sports wagering powerhouse has “exceeded expectations” in the District of Columbia, according to gambling officials.

In a report released by the DC Lottery, which oversees sports betting there, a record $26.6 million was wagered in the first 30 days after FanDuel Flutter Entertainment 25,48 +0,08% replaced the problematic, Intralot-driven GambetDC as the primary app available throughout the District.

Gambet is being phased out by October. Replacing it with a brand that owns 28% of the national sports betting market, according to the Gaming Today sports betting revenue tracker, has clearly enthralled DC officials.

“The transition to FanDuel, the market leader in mobile sports wagering, ensures the long-term viability of mobile sports wagering in the District,” Frank Suarez, the Office of Lottery and Gaming executive director said in a release. “In addition to a 40% share of GGR and a guarantee of $5 million in revenue in its first year, the FanDuel partnership brings the benefits of a respected brand, commitment to responsible gaming, an established userbase, and a superior sports wagering experience for District residents and visitors. FanDuel’s first 30 days have not only met, but exceeded expectations.”

FanDuel, though still officially an Intralot subcontractor until July, launched on April 15. The previous record handle in DC was $24.9 million (October 2021). FanDuel took in $15.6 million in wagers in just 16 days in April.

DC Small in Stature, Big on Wagering Complexity

Washington, DC, is one of the smallest US jurisdictions that have legalized sports betting and is arguably the most complicated. Since wagering was legalized in 2019, the DC Lottery app partner has owned a monopoly, but other brands were allowed to establish geo-fenced fiefdoms around the venues of sports teams with which they partnered.

The Washington Capitals, for example, have a deal with Caesars, staking out the digital betting space around Capital One Arena. FanDuel was previously confined to the areas around Audi Field as part of its partnership with DC United.

DC is also dotted by numerous parcels of federal land where betting is illegal.

An anonymous DC bettor expressed to Gaming Today “absolute excitement and anticipation that [the FanDuel] app will work as advertised and, hopefully, one day will be accessible citywide.”

Details from the DC Office of Lottery and Gaming April report:

  • FanDuel’s mobile sportsbook app and website accounted for “approximately $30 million” in handle and $5 million in gross gaming revenue in its first 30 days.
  • Handle on the “official” district-wide platform increased 673% compared to the same period in Fiscal Year 2023.
  • Gross gaming revenue increased 887% as compared to the same period.
  • FanDuel gives the government’s sportsbook a 40% share of gross gaming revenue in the District, “equating to an estimated $1.90 million in revenue for the District gained in the initial 30 days of operation, an increase of 690% over the same period last fiscal year.”
  • “From September 2023 through February 2024, the District’s per capita sports wagering revenue (tax and GambetDC revenue) was $2.71. Based on FanDuel’s first 30 days of operation, it is likely that the District’s per capita sports wagering revenue may rise to over $19, placing it among the highest revenue generating markets in the country on a per capita basis.”

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About the Author
Brant James

Brant James

Lead Writer
Brant James is a lead writer who covers the sports betting industry and legislation at Gaming Today. An alum of the Tampa Bay Times, ESPN.com, espnW, SI.com, and USA Today, he's covered motorsports and the NHL as beats. He also once made a tail-hook landing on an aircraft carrier with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and rode to the top of Mt. Washington with Travis Pastrana. John Tortorella has yelled at him numerous times.

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