Following a single bettor ‘winning big’, the Washington DC Lottery Corp has adjusted its terms and conditions. A single bettor, playing from a betting kiosk in a Poke restaurant won over $100,000 by taking advantage of poor bookmaking.

The adjustment to the rules allows limits to be placed on accounts, although Gambet DC attempted to word its explanation in a way that suggests the change in rules was under the guise of responsible gaming.

Initially reported by the Washington Post, the lottery’s rule change applies to retail sports wagering, and namely self-service betting terminals. Online sports betting has long seen winning customers limited, and is a common note of frustration amongst savvy bettors across the world.

GambetDC, the maligned sports betting application used by the state lottery, had been setting betting lines that were significantly off from competitors. The bettor, who admitted already being limited on the lottery’s mobile app, simply noticed the discrepancies between GambetDC’s prices and the likes of Circa and Caesars and wagered accordingly. Given there was no account needed to wager in a retail location, the winning punter took advantage accordingly.

After being provided a letter by the Director of the D.C. Lottery’s Regulation and Oversight Division, the bettor was limited to $60 per wager at any kiosk. Once he sought appeal, the state changed rules and regulations under the guise of emergency amendments.

“The emergency rulemaking gives the Office authority to place limits on a person’s sports wagering activities at retailer locations in order to curb excessive sports wagering and ensure responsible play by individuals at retail locations” read the notice.

Under 2023.7, the emergency limits can be placed by the Office based upon the following criteria:

  • The amount of time a person spends wagering at a retail location or locations; or
  • The amount of money a person wagers at a retail location or locations; or
  • The number of wagers placed by a person in a short period of time at a retail location or locations.

It further adds that the Office shall not pay winnings to any person if it is deemed to have violated the wagering limits imposed by the Office.

The Intralot & GambetDC partnership has been heavily criticized by most industry stakeholders with the former’s bookmaking under heavy question. This recent story goes to show that poor bookmaking and lack of sports betting experience can and easily will be taken advantage of by savvy bettors.

GambetDC effectively had a monopoly on DC mobile sports betting and still managed to turn a loss in 2022. Furthermore, the state removed annual problem gaming funding from the budget but attributed the emergency rule change to monitor that exact issue.

As it transpires, it’s just wording that can be used to limit winning players, without any defined metrics or boundaries for when the rules will be implemented.