Physical Sportsbook Dominates Online App in Washington DC Sports Betting Market

Washington DC sports betting reflected an exception in its November handle that was dominated by a physical sportsbook, William Hill.

According to the figures released by the DC lottery, the capital of the country saw $17.6 million in total handle in November. Unlike most US states that witness over 90% of their betting handles via online sports betting apps, Washington DC saw only 22% of the wagers coming through betting apps. William Hill’s temporary sportsbook at the Capital One Arena saw a handle of $13.7 million to make an exception amidst the national sports betting trend that has been dominated by its online counterpart. The UK-based bookmaker reported $2.7 million in sports betting revenue, good for a 19.9% hold.

The notable aspect of William Hill’s handle is that it is 3.5 times higher than its lone competitor, the DC Lottery’s Intralot-powered platform, GambetDC, which saw a handle of $3.9 million in November. The betting app generated $882,678 in revenue for a 22.7% hold.

November Handle Drops

Both the land-based sportsbook and the Lottery’s Gambet sportsbook app witnessed a dip in last month’s handle. According to the DC Lottery website’s figures, William Hill’s $13.7 million handle reflected a 4.9% drop from October’s $14.4 million. GambetDC’s total handle of $3.9 million also reflected a 7.7% decrease from October’s $4.2 million. The total handle of $17.6 million from the two sports betting competitors in Washington DC was a 5% drop from October’s handle.

In addition to the overall handle, William Hill also witnessed a slight decrease in the number of bets placed in November. The month saw 130,029 wagers being processed compared to 144,882 bets placed in October. The combined total of prizes and layouts was barely $11 million. Similarly, November saw only 113,377 bets being placed through the GambetDC app with prizes and payouts of merely $3 million.

Washington DC Handle Since its Launch

Since sports betting launched in May, Washington DC’s sports betting handle has totaled to merely $63.8 million, which is an underperformance for a market that saw three months through the NFL season with a mobile betting option.

November’s numbers brought the overall handle for William Hill to $49.4 million since it opened its temporary operations in July. Players have won a total of $41.2 million, leaving the bookmaker with $8.2 million in revenue. GambetDC has taken $14.4 million in sports bets since it launched in May. Bettors have won back $11.8 million, and the app generated merely $2.7 million in revenue.

DC Lottery Lagging Behind

Since its launch, the DC Lottery’s betting platform raised eyebrows when the standard bidding process was skipped to grant the contract to Intralot, allowing the Greek company to monopolize the market. Additionally, the GambetDC app features inherent problems explaining why it lags behind with its land-based sports betting competitor. First, it has a lengthy signup process, and secondly, it is accused of offering terrible odds. GambetDC did not take its first sports wager for more than 15 months after getting approval.

Another, and perhaps the single biggest explanation for the app’s underperformance, the issue with Washington DC sports betting is the hold and taxes it has enforced on the mobile sportsbook. It is enough to discourage customers from placing wagers on GambetDC.

However, there’s still room for growth for the DC Lottery’s offering as betting kiosks, originally supposed to be introduced in 2020, are still to be rolled out.

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