DC Council Creates Opening to Expand Sports Betting Market

Written by: Michael Savio
Published June 14, 2024
2 min read
DC Council Creates Opening to Expand Sports Betting Market

Sports betting could soon get much more competitive in our nation’s capital. 

The Washington D.C. City Council voted to reject a budget amendment that would have kept FanDuel as the only sports betting operator in the nation’s capital. While the vote doesn’t mean that D.C. will immediately open up licensing, it opens a path to do so in the future.

The vote garnered much attention after news broke that the Office of Lottery and Games (OLG) had begun reviewing the possibility of opening up its market. The announcement came months after FanDuel took over as D.C.’s only sports betting operator. The industry-leading sportsbook took over for the embattled GambetDC, which software issues and poor performance had plagued.

Operators such as BetMGM and Caesars both operate retail sportsbooks in D.C. and have been pushing to launch their online platforms. They say a FanDuel Monopoly would hurt their retail locations. Both operators acquired retail licenses with the understanding that GamebetDC would be the sole online operator.

“But if you support this amendment, it would not allow for that opportunity,” Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie said during the debate. “In fact, any delays are effectively going to continue the sole source monopoly and be to the detriment of existing Class As who have a retail operation at Gallery Place and at [the Washington Nationals stadium].”

A 9-4 vote defeated the amendment.

FanDuel Strongly Opposed to Market Expansion

Predictably, FanDuel has been vocal about its opposition to the possibility of expansion. The Flutter-owned sportsbook has complained that it was told it would be the sole operator when it took over for GambetDC. As a result, a lot of money was spent to make the D.C. launch possible.

FanDuel’s presence in the market is projected to result in a massive boost in tax revenue, making their deal with the OLG a win for both sides. However, expanding the market would cut FanDuel’s revenue without a drop in tax revenue, leading to the operator calling foul.

Image for Michael Savio

Michael Savio

Sports Betting Analyst

Expertise:
Gambling News
MLB
NCAAB
Online Sports Betting
Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Political Science
Favourite Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: BetMGM Casino
Experience:
3 years
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