After Taking Over In DC, FanDuel Massively Outperforms Gambet

Written By Phil West on May 23, 2024
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Just 30 days into FanDuel replacing Gambet as the lone sportsbook in Washington D.C., the change could be called a great success.

The DC Office of Lottery and Gaming switched in March after years of complaints from sports betters in the nation’s capital.

The news comes as the District of Columbia Council considers a proposal to add more sportsbooks.

FanDuel collects $5M from sports betting in first month

Washington sports betting began after legislation cleared a review by the US Congress in 2019. It would be more than two years before Maryland sports betting was legalized. The biggest difference was that DC had just one sportsbook option, Gambet. That platform was heavily criticized, and the DC Lottery finally switched to FanDuel two months ago.

According to the DC Lottery, in its first month, FanDuel generated around $30 million in handle and $5 million in gross gaming revenue.

Lottery Director Frank Suarez celebrated the new sportsbook.

“The transition to FanDuel, the market leader in mobile sports wagering, ensures the long-term viability of mobile sports wagering in the district. In addition to a 40% share of GGR and a guarantee of $5 million in revenue in its first year, the FanDuel partnership brings the benefits of a respected brand, commitment to responsible gaming, an established userbase, and a superior sports wagering experience for district residents and visitors. FanDuel’s first 30 days have not only met, but exceeded, expectations.”

The per capita contrast between FanDuel and its predecessor is startling. Between September 2023 and February 2024, Gambet generated just $2.71 per capita in sports betting revenue. FanDuel crushed that in just the first 30 days, the Lottery said.

“It is likely that the district’s per capita sports wagering revenue may rise to over $19, placing it among the highest revenue-generating markets in the country on a per capita basis.”

Proposal would allow more sportsbooks in DC

Despite FanDuel’s performance, or because of it, DC Council member Kenyan R. McDuffie has floated a proposal to allow more sportsbooks to operate in the nation’s capital. He also wants to create a new mobile-only license for online operators.

Unsurprisingly, a May 6 hearing on the proposal included testimony from DraftKings, Fanatics, Caesars, and Penn Entertainment (which operates ESPN Bet) in support of the measure.

Before any change happens, FanDuel will continue to enjoy its monopoly. Previously, FanDuel could operate only at Audi Field, home to Major League Soccer’s DC United.

The company believes it can generate nearly $120 million in tax revenue for DC over the next five years.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Phil West

Phil West is a longtime journalist based in Austin, Texas, whose bylines have appeared in The Daily Dot, Nautilus, Pro Soccer USA, Howler, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Chronicle. He has also written two books about soccer.

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