District of Columbia Bill Would Increase Competition

Councilwoman Elissa Silverman (l.), a local lawmaker in D.C., has introduced a bill to end GambetDC’s monopoly for sports betting in Washington. The ordinance would expand the number of operators offering online sports betting.

The District of Columbia City Council will consider a bill that would allow more sports betting competition. GambetDC has had less than stellar service as the city’s sole source thus far.

It also has less than stellar financial results. The city wants to end the existing contract and open it up to more operators.

“So it removes the monopoly and exclusivity of the D.C. Lottery’s gambling app, GambetDC, and creates a sports betting license for the private market apps like FanDuel and DraftKings,” Councilmember Elissa Silverman, told WTOP News.

The existing app has cost the city $4 million.

“If we’re going to have a lottery and a sports betting program in the city, then it needs to generate revenue, because I want to pay for important programs and public education, public safety and affordable housing,” Silverman said.

If approved, the bill would not extend the contract in 2024 and would open the city to different apps for new licenses, taxed similar to Maryland and Virginia.

The proposed law also insists GambetDC turn a profit in order to be allowed to continue to operate.

“Given GambetDC’s sort of disastrous rollout, I think we just need to hit reset, and yes, learn from other jurisdictions and open up the market to competition,” Silverman said.