Washington DC’s sportsbetting handle continues decline to US$11.3m

Neil Roarty profile picture
Updated 2 months ago on
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The downwards trend in sportsbetting handle has continued in Washington DC, with handle for July 2022 reaching US$11.34m, down from US£13.76m in June.

The second lowest in DC’s history

Since the full launch of retail sportsbetting in August 2020, July 2022 comes in as the lowest month on historical records for the state. The lowest prior was in April 2021, where handle hit US$10.7m, although only one commercial operator was offering retail wagering, compared to four in July 2022.

The largest handle taken was Caesar’s with US$4.3m, followed by BetMGM and newcomer Betfair. BetMGM took US$2.8m in bets, with Betfair’s first full month of retail operations taking US$710,000. Finally, Grand Central took US$314,000 as the last of the operational retail properties.

Gambet DC’s woes continue

There has been much written (and debated) about the woes of the online sportsbook operation in Washington DC. Gambet DC has been maligned and criticized for poor revenues and a dysfunctional product, and it has failed to show growth at all in this month.

Online sportsbook wagering stood at US$3.3m for the month, with retail wagering far eclipsing it at US$8.0m. Washington DC is a stark anomaly in the US sportsbetting commercial landscape, being unique in that its online offering generates substantially less than its retail offering.

There has been several discussions in the State about the switching of operator and broadening of online offering, given returns to the State from taxation have been significantly lower than was first promised, and has been expected.

US bettors only wager on the ‘big US sports’

July is typically one of the quietest in the US sportsbetting calendar due to absence of NFL and NBA and an upturn would be expected in coming months.

The NBA preseason will not resume until late September, with NFL coming in at early September. The dip in wagering again seems to suggest that US bettors tend to mainly bet on the likes of NFL, NBA and MLB – with the NHL and NCAA offering alternative markets to bet on. The lack of diversity in betting mix continues to provide cyclical handle, whereas in more mature European markets this is lesser seen.

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Neil Roarty is a gambling industry veteran with over 15 years experience writing and editing in both Europe and North America. He is a regular speaker at gambling conferences and appears as an author in many industry publications.

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