Washington D.C. to Experience Major Online Sports Betting Expansion on July 15

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Starting Monday, July 15, Washington D.C. sports enthusiasts will no longer be limited to using GambetDC. From noon ET, residents and visitors will gain extensive online access to multiple sports betting platforms. This shift marks a significant milestone in the district’s approach to sports wagering.

BetMGM has announced the launch of its betting app across the entire District, expanding beyond its current two-block radius around Nationals Park’s retail sportsbook. This momentous event will be celebrated at Nationals Park on Monday morning with live music and festivities. Similarly, Caesars Sportsbook, which operates a retail sportsbook at Capital One Arena, confirmed that it too will go live district-wide on Monday, according to SportsHandle.

This development follows the successful lobbying efforts of D.C. councilmember Kenyan McDuffie. His initiative aimed to transform Washington D.C.’s sports betting market from a monopoly, previously held by FanDuel after it took over GambetDC’s role as an Intralot subcontractor, to a competitive online marketplace with multiple operators.

Impact of Legislation and Market Changes

FanDuel had previously signaled its intention to end its partnership with the lottery and Intralot should the marketplace open up. Under the new system, operators like BetMGM and Caesars will pay a 20% tax, a reduction from the 40% currently levied on FanDuel. Additionally, small businesses with retail kiosks will continue to have these services provided by one of the District’s sports betting operators, even if FanDuel withdraws from the Intralot agreement.

Fanatics Sportsbook and DraftKings are among the other operators that have shown interest in entering the D.C. market. Both companies lobbied for online sports betting access earlier this year and are expected to push for their own launches. According to McDuffie’s bill, these operators need to partner with one of the District’s sports franchises and be vetted by the lottery before going live.

Regulatory Processes and Future Entrants

BetMGM and Caesars have already navigated the regulatory requirements with the D.C. Lottery, allowing them to quickly expand their mobile access. This head start positions them advantageously compared to other potential operators who may seek to enter the market.

The D.C. Lottery’s framework allows for four Class A operator licenses tethered to specific venues: Audi Field, Capital One Arena, Nationals Park, and Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena. The latter is the only venue without a current sports betting partner, potentially providing an opportunity for a new operator to enter the market.

There are also Class B licenses available to D.C. businesses not primarily focused on sports betting but wishing to offer wagering within their premises. Additionally, a new Class C license will enable D.C. sports franchises that play 90% of their home games in the district to partner with one sports betting operator for online wagering. This means that while Nationals Park is tied to BetMGM, the Washington Nationals could partner with another operator.

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