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FanDuel has been selected to take over sports betting operations in Washington DC from incumbent operator GambetDC.

At present, GambetDC (via the DC Lottery) holds a monopoly on online sports wagering in the district, in addition to offering land-based betting at kiosks across a network of retail locations.

On 9 March, however, DC gambling regulator the Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) announced that FanDuel had been confirmed as the new sports wagering subcontractor for Intralot, the district’s lottery and sports betting system vendor.

That means the Flutter Entertainment-owned brand will take over retail and online sports betting operations in the district from GambetDC.

FanDuel’s mobile app, for example, will be made available to those inside Washington DC this spring, the OLG said.

Elsewhere, GambetDC-branded in-store betting kiosks will be gradually replaced with FanDuel-branded equipment on a phased basis.

Why FanDuel?

FanDuel was selected in part because it already boasts a market share of around 50% in the neighbouring states of Maryland and Virginia, the regulator said. 

Also given its strong national presence across the US, launching in Washington DC will allow the 20 million annual visitors to the district to enjoy regulated sports betting while visiting, while at the same time preventing residents of the district from leaving to place bets in neighbouring states.

In addition, the new partnership between Intralot and FanDuel will bring “immediate financial benefit to the district,” according to the OLG, as Intralot will pay an initial $5m fee within the current fiscal year.

That fee alone will guarantee a significant revenue increase from sports wagering for the district in 2024, the regulator pointed out.

Intralot is also set to assume the OLG’s current operating costs associated with sports betting, while local businesses partnered with the OLG to offer sports betting kiosks “will continue to gain revenue from sports wagering.”

“The certified business enterprises who are part of the existing sports wagering component of the contract are expected to see 1.5x-2x greater gaming revenue than they currently do,” the OLG added.

“FanDuel’s industry-leading offering will ensure that the district maximises tax revenue under its existing contracts this year while delivering a best-in-class experience for 18+ residents,” said OLG executive director Frank Suarez.

GambetDC gone

The brand takeover will mark the end of the line for GambetDC, which has faced heavy criticism since launching amid consistently poor performance.

GambetDC’s “woeful performance” saw problems around usability and customer service abound, leaving the brand to fall far short of expectations.

That performance led lawmakers in the district to announce in January that they were seeking a larger brand to take over from the incumbent operator.

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