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Washington, D.C. officials are looking to replace Intralot’s GambetDC sports betting platform in the face of disappointing results.

A top official at Washington, D.C.’s Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) has confirmed it is looking to replace the current Intralot-powered GambetDC sports betting platform with a “bigger brand”.

The news was announced by agency head Frank Suarez (pictured), who fielded questions from DC council members in the city’s Committee of Economic & Business Development.

“Having a strong nationally recognised platform will help to quickly reverse the current trend and drive renewed revenue growth,” he said.

Council member Kenyan R. McDuffie, who led the oversight hearing, slammed GambetDC for its “woeful performance”, highlighting issues around usability, customer service and declining revenue.

“We know the current model simply is not working,” she said.

Council members blasted GambetDC for the $4.3m earned over its lifetime, a far cry from the approximately $21m per year projections prior the rollout of the programme.

Future prospects also look bleak, with GambetDC also witnessing a decline in last year’s revenue compared to the previous fiscal year.   

GambetDC plagued by issues

The platform has been plagued with technical problems and other issues since 2019 when Intralot was awarded the $215m contract to develop the city’s sole sports betting system.

Issues included a 2019 subcontract to a local DC business, as required by law, Veterans Services Corp (VSC), with zero employees.

VSC’s head Emmanuel Bailey received a six-figure salary in 2019, multiple times higher than that of the DC mayor.

Currently, FanDuel, DraftKings, Ceasars Sportsbook and BetMGM are all present in DC through partnerships with professional sports teams, albeit limited to in-stadia retail offerings and a two-block radius from the stadium for mobile betting.

Reportedly, frustrated bettors often cross the border into Maryland and Virginia to bet with more traditional online sports betting platforms.

Intralot’s contract is due for renewal in July this year, sparking questions from council members about whether the Greek lottery operator is fit for purpose.

Suarez said the OLG planned to hand over the operation to a more conventional sports betting operator still via an Intralot subcontract, with the Greek supplier retaining a role as provider.

The OLG head said the subcontract extension was the “fastest” way to solve the issue, with a possible February relaunch date.

This compares to putting the entire contract back out to tender, which Suarez said could take up to a year to see through.

As such, the department has already submitted a plan to the US capital’s Department of Small and Local Business to modify Intralot’s contract with a subcontractor to operate sports betting.

While a subcontractor has already been found, presumably in the form of a US sports betting operator, Suarez did not reveal the name of the entity to the committee.

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