The DC Office of Lottery & Gaming plans to delay the launch of retail sports betting until 2021 as a result of the pandemic, according to testimony at the DC City Council’s budget oversight hearing for the Business & Economic Development Committee. This means that there will be no brick and mortar outlets that can offer wagering on the fall season for the National Football League.
Online sports betting launched in the District of Columbia on May 28. GambetDC is the DC Lottery’s branded sports betting platform. “While we recognize there will be a limited number of events to wager on, this ‘soft launch’ will provide us with an opportunity to roll out the GambetDC website to potential players in the District in preparation for the return of sports,” said Beth Bresnahan, Executive Director, DC Lottery, as reported in the May/June 2020 edition of La Fleur’s Magazine. Betting opportunities were limited to mixed martial arts, darts, soccer and football futures.
“There will be limited paid advertising to promote GambetDC’s availability during this introductory phase; however, the website will be available to the general public with this release,” explained Nicole Jordan, Director of Marketing, DC Lottery. “The native iOS and Android apps will be unveiled in early June. A full-scale advertising and marketing campaign promoting GambetDC will launch as soon as there is a more robust schedule of major sporting events.”
Wagers can only be placed while in the District of Columbia. The DC Lottery’s app and website platforms have a geo-fencing feature that requires GambetDC players to be within Washington, DC and not within restricted play areas of the District. For example, the National Mall is a federal enclave area.
When sports events become available again, GambetDC will allow users to bet on a variety of professional and college sporting events including basketball, baseball, football, soccer, hockey, tennis, auto racing, boxing, cricket and darts. Players will be able to wager via their mobile phone or computer. Single-game bets, teaser bets, parlays, over-under, money line pools, exchange wagering, in-game betting, in-play bets, proposition bets and straight bets on sporting events are permitted.