The DC Lottery has not been the most competitive platform on the market. This sentiment was only reinforced when the platform experienced a major short circuit which left it unavailable during the Super Bowl and took the mobile app offline. The lottery has since received $500,000 as compensation from its technical partner, Intralot, responsible for the events in February.
The compensation is redress for reputational and financial damage suffered by the GambetDC sports betting app which has been chronically underperforming compared to commercial rivals. The matter is doubly-embarrassing given that Intralot was given a $215 million contract to operate the lottery even though there were objections to the selection process, reminiscent of what is happening with the UK National Lottery operator right now.
Apple is Once Against Out of the Betting Picture
Intralot did not necessarily sabotage the lottery and in fairness, there have been difficulties with the iOS version of betting software across at least several big brands in the iGaming and interactive betting sector. However, the timing of the issue paired with previous reports has made it difficult to uphold credence to Intralot’s capacity to operate the product.
Essentially, Intralot decided to give a quick once-over of the app ahead of Super Bowl day which resulted in Apple suspending GambetDC from the App Store. The resulting confusion left some 15,000 people unable to access and place a bet using the app. In fairness, Intralot’s penalty seemed a little steep at first.
For starters, DC Lottery director Frank Suarez argued that an estimated $65,000 worth of bets were missed, with $6,300 spent on promoting the event. The $428,000 is disproportionately awarded to the lottery to overcome “reputational damages.” Suarez explained:
“Being able to recoup what we believe we would have gotten in revenue was important, and then being able to have additional marketing funds for branding so we can reach out and acquire players, and I think that’s a good amount for that.”
Poor Reception of a Touted Product
GambetDC has had poor reception among consumers, and especially better-seasoned sports bettors who had experience with other platforms such as FanDuel and DraftKings. The main carps against the platform have varied from a poorly-designed interface and worse fixtures on some events.
Meanwhile, sports betting in Washington DC remains available at retail venues and the Nationals Park, Capital One Arena, and the Audie Field. Sports bettors in DC can definitely benefit from a few better options, though.