On the surface, it has become apparent to those in the sports betting industry that GambetDC, the sports betting solution the DC Council thought would be a money-maker, has not lived up to expectations. It has a much wider net than William Hill, which has continued to rule the local market, and even latecomer BetMGM has gained traction. Still, the actual financial results of GambetDC remain a mystery, as the Office of the DC Auditor has yet to complete a required audit of the operations. Initially expected in May and then delayed until June, the revelation of how well – or poorly – GambetDC is performing now won’t be known until next month, unless another delay is announced.
GambetDC Remains an Enigma
GambetDC was meant to give Washington, DC, a windfall. It is run by the DC Lottery, which is controlled by Intralot, but has been anything but what it was expected to be. GambetDC can operate across the entire district, while its primary rival, William Hill, has been limited to only a two-block radius around Capital One Arena. Despite the extreme limitation, William Hill has repeatedly performed much better than DC’s alternative. BetMGM recently launched in DC, and is still gaining momentum.
Exactly how much better, after considering all of the aspects like expenses, revenue, number of wagers, etc., isn’t known because the DC Auditor hasn’t been keeping up. When the GambetDC solution was first being introduced, it carried a provision that DC’s official accountant would review the app’s performance after two years. That meant the audit was to be completed in May, but, according to the office, it wasn’t aware of the requirement. When it realized what had happened, it admitted its faux pas and said it would have the details ready by June.
However, that deadline was missed, as well. Now, the results aren’t expected to be released until the middle of next month. The goal is to determine whether or not the DC Council was correct in trying to give GambetDC a virtual monopoly on the sports betting market. The full audit will likely only confirm everyone’s suspicions, as William Hill, with its hands firmly tied, is outpacing GambetDC almost 3-to-1.
GambetDC Doomed from the Start
GambetDC has been the laughingstock of the sports betting industry since it was first introduced. At least one DC councilmember admitted that the app was designed to make money, instead of being a competitive sports betting solution. The odds have a DC slant that sports bettors don’t appreciate, which is why they’re willing to wait in long lines just to place a wager with William Hill and, now, BetMGM. The DC Lottery has even tried to drum up more action through a business partner program that, while moderately successful, won’t survive the long-term competition between books.
The delays by the Office of the DC Auditor produce more questions than answers. It had two years to learn that it was to perform the audit in May, which should have been enough time for any responsible entity to take action – especially one in charge of managing money. If the DC Lottery were keeping accurate records, the auditor should have been able to receive the information and crunch the numbers to deliver the report with just a one-month delay. However, requiring an additional four months seems to be completely out of place.