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DC Council Debates GambetDC’s Role in Washington’s Legal Sports Betting Market

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated December 22, 2022
7 min read
  • DC Council’s Business and Economic Committee Just Debated Future of Sports Betting
  • GambetDC Called ‘Broken’ by One Council Member, ‘Best Option’ by Lottery Official
  • Council Members Would Have to Reintroduce New Sports Betting Legislation in 2023
DC Council Debates

DC Council’s Business and Economic Committee Just Debated Future of Sports Betting

Washington D.C. has joined over 30 states in legalizing, regulating, and taxing a sports betting market for its residents, but because of the challenges presented by its lack of retail gambling locations, lawmakers decided to limit competition from outside sportsbooks.

They did that by using the GambetDC sportsbook to the exclusion of others, and, as expected, plenty of sports gambling drama has erupted, that’s according to a recent report expertly done by sports betting reporter Bennett Conlin posted at the SportsHandle.


The debate essentially boils down to a battle of priorities – one side seems to favor revenue over technical quality while the other side considers the customer experience as important as money made, a clash that stems from GambetDC’s questionable history of hiccups.

The Sportshandle report cites problems with GambetDC’s “subpar reviews, poor odds, clunky interface, and failing tech,’ all factors that reportedly make the mobile option in that district less desirable than it could be resulting in a smaller amount of traffic and frustrated users.

But another group seems to like things just how they are.

GambetDC Called ‘Broken’ by One Council Member, ‘Best Option’ by Lottery Official

Sportshandle describes a meeting that took place on Wednesday of the Washington D.C. Council’s Business and Economic Committee which is where council member Elissa Silverman reportedly did not mince words about the controversy, reportedly concluding that:

“Gambet can’t be fixed. The District will correct the course on sports gambling and actually generate revenue only if the council acquires it through legislation.”

Frank Suarez, the executive director of the D.C. Office of Lottery and Gaming that’s in charge of regulating the market there, argued that GambetDC is still the best option due to the tax revenue it creates along with its potential to grow, saying:

“The reason that Gambet is going to do better, and the model is going to do better, is because you have to look at the numbers.”

Technical problems can be fixed, and unappealing odds can be adjusted, but when it comes to making money, a press release sent out by the D.C. lottery claimed that GambetDC’s handle resulted in $10.2 million in gross gaming revenue and $1 million in tax revenue for D.C., saying:

“Even when compared to privately operated District sportsbooks, GambetDC’s growth and financial contribution to the District are unmatched,”

Should enough D.C. lawmakers and gamblers call for a change, it could happen in 2023.

Council Members Would Have to Reintroduce New Sports Betting Legislation in 2023

The next time the 25th Council in Washington D.C. convenes is scheduled for January 3, 2023, so if there is going to be more official debate on how that market is regulated, it will have to take place starting then.

Meantime, those problems with GamebetDC are reportedly being addressed and hopefully fixed, so sports gamblers there should still be able to easily bet on all the NFL and NBA and NCAA action that will take place during the winter months.

Conlin concludes his report calling out the council for seeming to be “content to complain about GambetDC’s shortcomings every few months without doing anything tangible to improve the situation,” a valid point that can only be countered with effective action.

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Mike Lukas

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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]

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