Competition in and around the Washington DC sports betting market could ramp up as BetMGM announced an access agreement.
BetMGM will offer retail and online sports betting through MLB‘s Washington Nationals. The multi-year exclusive partnership will include a sportsbook connected to Nationals Park and a mobile app permitted for use only in the immediate vicinity of the stadium.
The MGM brand is well-known throughout the area. The company’s MGM National Harbor is about 11 miles south of downtown DC.
The BetMGM retail sportsbook is tentatively scheduled for a summer opening, a spokesperson confirmed. Exact timelines on when the company will launch sports betting in Washington DC are still being finalized.
More pressure on DC sports betting app GambetDC
The addition of another nationally known sports betting brand could be bad news for the DC Lottery‘s maligned sports betting app, GambetDC.
GambetDC is operated by Intralot and offers the District’s only online sports betting app because the DC Council greased through a contract for its lottery provider. Sportsbooks partnered with stadiums and arenas can still offer mobile betting, though the app is geofenced to a two-block radius around the property.
That gives GambetDC a significant advantage against the competition, though it’s squandered through Intralot’s poor prices. GambetDC’s struggled to keep up with an unlikely opponent since launch: a temporary retail William Hill sportsbook.
From its late May launch through December, GambetDC reported $18.7 million in handle and $3.5 million in revenue. William Hill, meanwhile, reported $49.4 million in handle and $8.2 million in revenue since late July through November.
The gap should widen after William Hill launched its mobile app late last month. The app can only be used within a two-block radius of Capital One Arena but should help reduce the sometimes hours-long wait to use the retail betting kiosks.
BetMGM creates competition for private operators too
Not all the pressure of BetMGM’s entrance falls onto GambetDC’s struggling shoulders.
Capital One Arena and Nationals Park are just 2.1 miles away from each other. That means anyone in the area to bet with William Hill is just a short drive away from betting with BetMGM as well.
Those two won’t be the only options in the area forever, though. Another heavy-hitter, FanDuel Sportsbook, signed an agreement with MLS team DC United to offer sports betting.
That will put a FanDuel Sportsbook at Audi Field, which is just 0.2 miles away from Nationals Park. FanDuel is expected to launch sports betting in DC this year as well.
Virginia sports betting expected soon
The Washington DC betting market will get its first taste of real competition soon enough from Virginia.
Sports betting in Virginia could launch in time to take Super Bowl bets, Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall told local outlet WVEC-TV.
Maryland sports betting could launch later this year as well if the legislature can agree on a bill. State voters approved legalizing sports betting in November.