GambetDC is the only sports betting app allowed in D.C., and even if you don’t bet on sports, listen up, because this government-sponsored sportsbook is a wreck, and that has wide-reaching costs for the city.
GambetDC lost money this year, which is unheard of in the sports betting world. It handled $5.2 million in bets in June and recorded a negative revenue of $67,702. While 70 businesses around D.C. license GambetDC kiosks, a report obtained by The Washington Post attributes June’s severe deficit to betting at a single retailer, the Abunai Poke Bowl in Northwest.
Reporter Danny Funt told City Cast DC how a 27-year-old user figured out that he could bet as much as he wanted without getting limited if he bet anonymously. He also realized that GambetDC does such a poor job of setting odds that he could almost always win by betting based on other apps’ odds instead. His strategy was profitable — he bet over $1 million and profited over $400,000.
GambetDC has since changed its policies, but suffice to say, the damage has been done.
Why Does This Matter?
When D.C. legalized sports betting in 2019, the city planned to use earnings to fund violence prevention programs, child care programs, and other projects of public interest. But instead, Funt says, the city has fallen tens of millions of dollars short of their revenue projections for sports betting.
“So this is yet another example of how a mismanaged sports betting apparatus is doing real harm to the general fund of the city,” Funt said on the City Cast DC podcast.