DC sports betting has gone through a series of major changes over the past few years. In 2019 the nation’s capital legalized sports betting, opening the door to both retail and online wagering. Since then, DC betting has evolved into a specifically regulated system which we will discuss in more detail.
To start, bettors must be over the age of 18 for sports betting in DC. In addition, they are required to be geolocated within the state boundaries to use any mobile betting apps. Certain mobile apps are further restricted to a two-block radius from a stadium or brick-and-mortar casino.
Legal Sports Betting in DC
DC sports betting was approved in May of 2019 after congress passed a bill to legalize retail and online sports betting in the District of Columbia. However, the following betting events were deemed to be restricted:
- Games in which a District of Columbia college or university participates.
- College or university games which take place within DC.
- Any high school sports event.
Regulation of betting was left up to the DC Lottery, who are also one of the major sports betting providers in the state.
Retail sportsbooks can be throughout the district, with no cap on the number of sportsbooks that can operate. There are two types of sportsbooks licenses available at the moment: Class A & Class B.
Both classes allow for the operation of retail sports betting in DC but differ in app usage. Class A licensees are allowed to provide betting via an app within a two-block radius of their venue. Class B licensees, on the other hand, are restricted to using app betting on their property’s premises.
In general, Class A licenses are reserved for major ballparks and stadiums in DC like the Capital One Arena and Nationals Park. Class B licenses can be given out to a variety of operators including restaurants, bars and independent bookies.
The DC Lottery recently installed self-serve betting kiosks at four local bars — Ben’s Next Door, Lou’s City Bar, Takoma Station Tavern, and Dirty Water.
Online sports betting is currently available in DC through the use of mobile apps. GameBet DC, a product of the DC Lottery, is the only licensed operator to provide online betting anywhere within the district.
Other online sports betting operators available in DC include the Caesars Sports App in the Capital One Arena and the BetMGM Sportsbook at Nationals Park. Both of these operators are restricted to taking bets within a two-block radius of their establishment.
The next operator to enter the market seems to be FanDuel, who has inked a deal with DC United at Audi Field. A sports betting app (also limited to a two-block radius) is expected to be available as soon as the retail DC sportsbook launches.
Washington DC Sports Betting Bill – Timeline
As mentioned above, DC sports betting kicked off in May of 2019. So far sports betting has been legalized in both retail and online settings but online betting is only available within certain conditions. In the future we expect the rules to be slackened with more online sportsbooks becoming accessible from anywhere in DC.
Here is the complete sports betting Washington DC timeline:
January 2019 – DC City Council sponsors the Bill B22-0944 to legalize sports betting in DC.
February 2019 – Mayor Muriel Bowser signs the Bill.
May 2019 – Congress signs off on the Bill and sports betting to officially become legal in DC.
May 2020 – DC Lottery releases GameBet DC App providing online sports betting.
June 2021 – BetMGM and Caesars Sports release sports betting apps at their stadium venues.
Q4 2021 – FanDuel has announced plans to launch a partnership with DC United at their stadium.
Potential DC Sports Betting Sites
For the time being, the only way to place bets online is through mobile apps. We expect a number of sports betting sites to become available in the near future.
- The GameBet DC App – Run by the DC Lottery can be used from anywhere within the district.
- BetMGM Sportsbook App – Available within a two-block radius of its venue.
- Caesars Sportsbook App – Available within a two-block radius of its venue.
- FanDuel DC – Already offers real-money daily fantasy sports in DC and it is a high possibility for incorporating live sports betting on its platform.
- DraftKings DC – Currently provides real money daily fantasy sports in the state and is likely to offer live sports betting in the future.
In order for an operator to enter the DC online sports betting market, they require a retail space. These are generally venues or stadiums which cater to sports teams in DC.
For answers to commonly asked questions about DC sportsbooks use the FAQ section below.
Is it legal to bet on sports in DC?
Yes. There are various licensed sports betting operators all over the District of Columbia.
What kind of online gambling is legal in DC?
Online sports betting is legal in DC via mobile app. There is only one app – GameBet DC – which can be accessed from anywhere within the state. Other mobile apps such as the Caesars Sportsbook App and BetMGM App require bettors to be within a two-block radius of their betting venue.
What types of sports bet are available in DC?
Washington DC sports betting operators provide a wide range of bet types including Moneylines, Point Spreads, Totals, Futures, Prop Bets and Parlays.
Live betting is also available at many sportsbooks DC has with wagers on sporting events as they occur.
Are there any sporting events which are restricted from betting in DC?
Sports events restricted from betting in DC include college or university games with DC teams, college or university games which take place within DC and high school games.
What is the legal gambling age for DC sports betting?
The legal age for gambling in Washington DC is 18 years old.