The District of Columbia (D.C.) reported total sports betting handle of $12.5 million in May 2023. This was year-over-year down 27.3 percent from May 2022’s $17.2 million and month-over-month 17 percent from April’s $14.5 million.
After payments to winning players, gross gaming revenue was approximately $2 million, up a staggering 100% from the month prior, but approximately level with last year’s figures.
Much maligned Gambet, run by the District of Columbia Lottery and powered by Intralot, registered $5.4 million in wagers, and just over $700k in revenue. Caesar’s Entertainment collected over $800,000 in revenue from a smaller handle of $4.6 million, whereas BetMGM and FanDuel generated just shy of $400,000 in revenue from over $2 million in handle.
Finally, Grand Central Bar, partnered with Elys Game Technology, poised $87,000 in revenue from total handle of $386,000. The Cloakbook took approx. $5k from $15k handle.
The District of Columbia has no commercial casino venues, but does offer private and lottery-operated sports wagering at five retail sportsbooks (with three having access to mobile platforms).
District of Columbia sports betting was legalized in 2019, when legislature passed law allowing the DC Lottery to directly operate sports wagering. This is something that has come under great criticism, given the deemed inefficiencies of Gambet DC – the partnership with Intralot and the lottery in the state.
The law also authorizes Washington D.C.’s sports venues to offer sports betting services, as well as certain kiosks that serve alcohol in the area. Although the ambitions are broad, it hasn’t quite panned out the way that regulators initially imagined.
When law was first passed in D.C., neighboring states Maryland and Virginia had no sports betting offering. Fast forward to 2023, and both offer convincing mobile offerings and there’s increased competition cross-state.