Why Is GambetDC, DC’s Mobile Sportsbook Struggling So Much?

  • GambetDC was launched to the excitement of sports bettors in 2020 but has underperformed ever since.
  • The online sportsbook in Washington, D.C. had a handle of just over $2 million in July.
  • GambetDC is notorious for having lower payouts than other sportsbooks across the nation.

WASHINGTON- Washington, D.C. introduced a sports betting app, GambetDC in 2020 and it’s been unlike many other sports betting apps seen across the country.

What makes GambetDC unique is that it’s not been very profitable. Unlike apps in places like Tennessee that have taken in large amounts of money, GambetDC tends to bring in remarkably low amounts of handle from a low number of users.

July’s revenue was dismal at best with a handle of just over $2 million and only 61,000 wagers placed with the app for the month.

There are many reasons that the GambetDC platform isn’t bringing in the money that it was expected to but one reason stands out above the others - they just don't pay out well.

GambetDC: Problems With Payouts

GambetDC does not pay out as much as many major competitors - the company running it, Intralot, set the system up so that the DC Lottery takes a fairly significant vig compared to other sports betting operators.

One of these competitors is a physical sportsbook at Capitol One Arena run by William Hill that has proven to be far more popular and lucrative than the app.

A mobile platform losing out to a physical sportsbook isn’t particularly common and the original revenue projections for GambetDC were nowhere near this level of poor performance.

Intralot CEO Byron Boothe claimed in an interview that he doesn’t make most of the decisions regarding GambetDC, especially in terms of payout.

Those decisions, according to Boothe, are the domain of the DC Lottery, and he is in favor of lowering the vig and raising payouts for GambetDC sports bettors.

“Books really are determined by their payout,” said Boothe. “If the city decides it wants to stay in this space, either raise the payout to be competitive” or restrict other options for legal gambling in the city, he said. “That’s the choice the city has to make. The payout drives the player. D.C. sets the payout, and winning is everything. If you can win more, you’re going to like it.”

GambetDC is in a problematic situation especially with the success of William Hill’s sportsbook at Capitol One Arena casting it in a harsh light.

Washington D.C.’s online gambling fans will have to figure out whether the convenience of online sports betting is worth the lower payout rates at GambetDC but it's a safe bet that the more attractive lines at the retail sportsbook will continue to reign supreme for the sports betting industry in the District.