May 7, 2024 3 min read

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Washington D.C. Sportsbook Operators Push for Inclusive Mobile Betting

Currently, FanDuel stands as the sole operator permitted to provide statewide mobile access to its sports betting services in Washington, D.C

During the Washington D.C. Council committee’s Business and Economic Development Public Hearing held on May 6, four sports betting operators spoke in support of a proposed bill that if passed will diversify the sports betting market in the state. Operators also voiced their concerns over the digital monopoly of FanDuel, which will be instated in case the Intralot contract is to be renewed. 

Major Sports Betting Players Rally Behind McDuffie’s Bill

During the hearing, testimony was heard from representatives of BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, and Fanatics Sportsbook. All of them said they are in favor of Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie’s bill, which is going to shake up the market, introduce a variety of sports betting apps to Washington D.C., and thus increase competition. 

This comes on the backdrop of FanDuel recently securing a contract as a subcontractor of Intralot, which granted it exclusive rights to be the sole online sportsbook operator in Washington D.C. According to the contract, FanDuel was set to debut on April 15 replacing the previous Intralot subcontractor, GambetDC. The transition came as a result of GambetDC’s inferior performance which prompted the Office of Lottery and Gaming to enlist the services of FanDuel.

At the moment, FanDuel is the only operator, which is allowed to offer statewide mobile access to its sports betting services in Washington D.C. The operator has achieved $14 million in wagers within only two weeks, a stellar performance which is much higher than the combined earnings of GambetDC in the past few months.

McDuffie’s Sports Betting Bill Faces Hurdles Amid Intralot Contract Complexities

The bill proposed by McDuffie, however, faces obstacles due to the intricate conditions of the Intralot contract, which is going to expire in the middle of July. 

McDuffie’s bill seeks to expand the sports betting market in the state but at the same time, the lottery aims to keep the Intralot contract in place seeking an extension of two years. If this happens FanDuel will continue to hold a sports betting monopoly. 

McDuffie contends that such delay-driven decisions could undermine the city’s betting revenue potential, advocating for a competitive marketplace. Thus, the Business and Economic Development Public Hearing revealed the tensions between McDuffie and the state’s lottery officials. 

The participating operators voiced their hope that mobile betting diversification will eventually be achieved, highlighting the major investments they have already made into retail sportsbooks. Yet there exist some contentions issues regarding the expansion of the online sports betting market in the state as stakeholders have already expressed concerns over tax rates. For example, the representative of Caesars Sportsbook urged that there should be a differentiation between the tax rates on mobile and retail sports betting to prevent job losses and closures.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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