Washington, DC, sports betting saw a noticeable uptick with its July revenue numbers.
The DC Office of Lottery and Charitable Games announced that wagering within the nation’s capital amounted to $741,450. The revenue from that monthly handle tallied $142,279. It accounted for a hold of 19%.
It’s continued progress for Washington, DC, sports betting, which is currently the only legal sports betting option for many nearby Virginia residents.
DC legalized sports betting in December 2018. However, due to various delays, it didn’t open its legal sports betting market until May of this year. It’s been slow going out of the gate during its first few months.
However, this latest report is another small step forward for the DC sports betting market.
Rough start for sports betting in Washington, DC
Upon its launch, the DC City Council approved just a single vendor: Intralot. The subsequent product, GambetDC, is now the official sports betting provider in Washington, DC.
However, with consumer-unfriendly options (“offensive lines,” as one colleague put it), sports bettors didn’t exactly flock to the new offering. And, of course, the global COVID-19 pandemic, which temporarily shut down many sports leagues, didn’t help the betting market.
Still, July could’ve been a breakout month following the return of many major sports leagues. Instead, DC has yet to reach a $1 million handle in a single month.
During its first full two months of operation, the DC sports betting handle totaled approximately $1.2 million in wagers with a hold of approximately $237,000.
Even considering DC’s small population, they’re paltry numbers.
Nearby states such as New Jersey ($315 million handle in July), Pennsylvania ($165 million), West Virginia ($16 million), New Hampshire ($12 million) and Rhode Island ($7 million) have competitive and robust markets.
Estimates for Virginia sports betting revenue will put handle in the billions on annual basis.
Washington, DC, in-person betting options
Overall, betting through GambetDC is slowly increasing, but DC’s numbers should soon see a boost from in-person betting.
William Hill launched a retail sportsbook a month ago. It’s at Capital One Arena, the home of the NHL’s Capitals, NBA’s Wizards and WNBA’s Mystics.
Other in-person betting options could soon open.
The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 could bring additional betting kiosks to other sports venues and even bars and restaurants.
Competition from Virginia sportsbooks
DC will soon face even more competition for sports bettors’ dollars.
Virginia’s first sportsbooks could be online as early as December, though early 2021 is more likely. In all, Virginia could have up to a dozen sportsbooks when the Virginia Lottery issues licenses and the market is humming.
Additionally, Maryland voters could also approve sports betting in the “Old Line State” via a ballot referendum in November.
For many DC residents, Virginia and Maryland are just a few minutes’ drive away. Many bettors are likely to venture out for better betting options.