June Sports Betting In DC: BetMGM At Nationals Park Struggles Out Of Gate

Written By Dann Stupp on July 20, 2021 - Last Updated on July 31, 2023
BetMGM at Nationals Park

BetMGM at Nationals Park has settled into its status as a Washington, DC sportsbook, but William Hill remains the runaway leader.

In June, BetMGM launched at the Washington Nationals‘ ballpark via a partnership with the MLB team.

As with William Hill at Capital One Arena, though, BetMGM bettors at Nationals Park have to be on-site or within a two-block radius of the venue to place a wager.

Despite that obviously frustrating hurdle, both William Hill and BetMGM are proving what we already knew. Namely? That bettors will seek out better alternatives to the District-wide and DC Lottery-backed GambetDC.

June 2021 handle for BetMGM at Nationals Park

According to the June sports betting data from the DC Lottery, bettors in the nation’s capital wagered $19.5 million in June. (By comparison, Virginia sports bettors are wagering 10-15 times that amount on a monthly basis.)

William Hill handled 80.4% of the Washington, DC, wagers ($15,700,8150). That was its biggest monthly handle in DC since launching a pop-up shop in June and a mobile app in December.

GambetDC, meanwhile, took 17.6% of the bets ($3,440,931).

And BetMGM accounted for 1.9% ($376,662) of bets during its 21 days of wagering following a June 11 debut.

Here’s the full June 2021 revenue breakdown:

William Hill$15,700,81510.1%$1,592,425

The DC Lottery set up GambetDC as a near-monopoly. And despite GambetDC’s ability to take wagers from nearly any non-federal land in DC, bettors are proving savvy enough to seek out alternatives. After all, GambetDC has infamously bad lines and odds.

That should bode well BetMGM, especially considering its plans to add a retail sportsbook to Nationals Park later this year.

BetMGM in Virginia instead?

Across the border, BetMGM VA has proven to be a viable contender in the Virginia sports betting market.

The Virginia Lottery does not break down monthly sports betting handle by operator. However, in April, VA Lotto Executive Director Kevin Hall told the Virginia Lottery Board that, through the first few months of wagering, BetMGM had taken the third most bets (14%). BetMGM ranked behind only first-to-market FanDuel VA (53%) and DraftKings VA (24%) in a market that now boasts seven operators.

Additionally, BetMGM in Virginia remains a viable alternative for many folks living in Washington, DC. Most DC residents live within a few minutes of the Virginia border, anyway.

Therefore, it may actually be easier to travel to Virginia than it would be to travel to a two-block radius around Nationals Parks or Capital One Arena to place a bet there.

In fact, that’s a battle that DC sportsbook operators are going to face as long as the market there remains nonsensical. However, the Office of the DC Auditor is currently studying GambetDC, which operates on the Intralot platform. The results of that audit could ultimately give BetMGM and William Hill more room to operate in DC.

Photo by Dreamsite / Chelsdo
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Dann Stupp

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

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