Interest Expectedly Wanes In Washington, DC With August 2021 Sports Betting

Posted on September 16, 2021

As with most jurisdictions in the US, Washington, DC sportsbooks struggled with August 2021 sports betting revenue.

Overall, the three sportsbook operators in the nation’s capital collected $12,445,312.30 in handle with a 14.1% hold ($1,801,748).

The DC Lottery recently released the figures for its Interlot-powered GambetDC app. The agency also released August 2021 sports betting tallies for Caesars By William Hill Sportsbook and BetMGM Sportsbook, which both have retail betting space, as well as limited online wagering in DC.

DC’s August 2021 sports betting numbers

As in Virginia and elsewhere, the District has experienced a summer dip, especially with August 2021 sports betting.

In fact, Gambet DC, which is the only online sportsbook that’s legally allowed to accept bets District-wide, had hit a year-to-date low in July 2021 with just $2,152,023 in wagers.

However, that low fell even further in August. During the month, GambetDC’s handle dipped by nearly a quarter (24.8%), to $1,618,545.18.

GambetDC bettors won $1,311,900.65, which created a hefty hold of 18.9% ($432,726). However given GambetDC’s notoriously stingy odds, that hold percentage remains par for the course.

However, Caesars By William Hill Sportsbook saw a minuscule increase month-over-month (less than .1%), and BetMGM increased by about $100,000, or 15.9%. They posted gains despite a notoriously slow sports schedule in the summer.

However, they couldn’t make up for the ground that GambetDC lost.

Here’s the full breakdown:

OperatorHandleHoldRevenue
William Hill$10,080,741.3211.2%$1,128,317.07
GambetDC$1,618,545.1818.9%$306,644.53
BetMGM$746,025.807.7%$57,939.27
Totals$12,445,312.3012%$1,492,900.87

Combined, Washington DC’s three sportsbook operators collected $12,445,312.30, down from $12,808,240 in July wagers.

DC vs. Virginia vs. Maryland

After launching on Jan. 21, Virginia has already far surpassed the DC sports betting market.

Maryland, another bordering state, previously sent a lot of sports bettors to DC and other nearby states for sports betting. However, with MD sports betting likely to launch before year’s end, DC is going to face even more competition.

The problems in DC and with the GambetDC app are well-documented by now. Even the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor has weighed in with recommendations, including better odds, renegotiating terms with Interlot, and licensing more operators.

However, the Office of Lottery and Gaming doesn’t seem too eager to make any changes. Even after the relative success of William Hill and BetMGM in DC.

That could continue to be good news for Virginia. After all, Virginia sportsbooks undoubtedly siphon off a lot of DC betting dollars because of the robust online marketplace here. With DC making little effort to keep those dollars in the district, that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

Photo by Dreamstime / Rozum
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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