Sports Betting

D.C. Council Votes to Expand Sports Betting Market

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D.C. Council Votes to Expand Sports Betting Market in the District

At a D.C. Council meeting on Wednesday, members voted to retain an amendment in the budget that would allow the District to open its online sports betting market to multiple operators.

D.C. Council votes to end FanDuel’s monopoly on online sports betting in the District

Zachary Parker’s amendment to eliminate fellow council member Kenyan McDuffie’s sports betting language from the budget was defeated by a 9-4 vote.

This means FanDuel’s brief monopoly on D.C. online sports betting could be coming to an end. The operator is currently the only licensed online sportsbook in D.C. through a partnership with the D.C. Lottery.

FanDuel has only been offering online and mobile wagers in the District for less than two months after taking over the license from GambetDC, Intralot’s former subcontractor.

The sportsbook posted $30 million in betting handle in the first 30 days. The District’s Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG)’s 40% cut of gross gaming revenue (GGR) netted $1.9 million from FanDuel’s $5 million revenue reported from April 15 to May 14.

GGR, handle, and OLG revenue were all up more than 670% year-over-year for that period. Because of FanDuel’s recent success, sportsbooks pushed for the D.C. market to expand. For other operators, it was a step in the right direction.

BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and Fanatics Sportsbook had all spoken in support of McDuffie’s proposed Sports Wagering Amendment Act, which would allow the D.C. online sports betting market to open up starting July 15.

BetMGM operates a retail sportsbook at Nationals Park and Caesars has a brick-and-mortar establishment at Capital One Arena, home of the Capitals and the Wizards.

FanDuel President Christian Genetski argued that the District could see a decline in revenue from sports wagering

Moreover, FanDuel President Christian Genetski was against this plan right from the get-go. Genetski argued that FanDuel is on pace to raise nearly $23 million for D.C. in its first year.

An open market would generate just $8.4 million in fiscal year 2025 and $32.2 million over the subsequent four years.

The sportsbook’s subcontract demands that it provides a $5 million upfront guarantee for the remainder of the current term of the OLG contract, and $10 million guaranteed for each subsequent fiscal year as part of any extension.

With competitors in the market, it would terminate its subcontract with Intralot and apply for a license under the new regime. In other words, FanDuel would pay D.C. 20% tax on its revenue rather than 40%.

“Therefore, while FanDuel will be operating in the District under either regime, the Sports Wagering Bill would lead the District to a significant decline of revenue from sports wagering in comparison to the OLG contract extension,” wrote Genetski.

However, nothing is final just yet. The next stop for the budget is D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s desk. Of course, the budget will also need Congressional approval before it passes into law.