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Online sports betting has officially launched in the District with GambetDC

DC Lottery announced a soft launch for its digital betting platform after its retail sports betting operation was delayed.

Gambet DC. (Screenshot)

Since the DC Office of Lottery and Charitable Gaming (DC Lottery) announced the delay of its retail sports betting operation, the association did a soft launch for an online sports betting platform.

With the GambetDC platform, users can place live bets on collegiate and professional sporting events through the website or an app set to launch this month for Android and iOS users. DC Lottery said any net revenues generated from GambetDC will be returned to the District’s General Fund to benefit residents and the local economy. The launch of this new platform comes after Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 into law on Jan. 22, 2019.

GambetDC users don’t need to reside in the District to register for an account. Users will need a valid driver’s license, social security card, passport or state-issued ID to register.

DC Lottery approved its sports wagering rules that went into effect on March 13.

Legal sports betting was meant to launch in the District last fall before the start of the NFL season, but it was set back by a lawsuit concerning a $215 million sole contract D.C. issued to Greek gaming firm Intralot to operate the mobile platform for GambetDC. This lawsuit is still now in the appeal process and Intralot moved forward with creating the platform. The launch was then pushed to March of this year, which is a popular month for college basketball tournaments — but those tournaments were also canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. DC Lottery won’t be offering in-person sports betting until summer 2021, the Washington Business Journal reported.

“The pandemic has prevented field technicians from visiting store locations to undertake fundament equipment upgrades necessary to support retail sports wagering,” DC Lottery Executive Director Beth Bresnahan said during a June 3 budget oversight hearing before the D.C. Council’s committee on business and economic development. “We have worked these past few months to keep our core functions and services safely operating, while continuing to carry out our mission of generating revenue for the District’s General Fund.”

Private sportsbook operators have already been submitting applications to DC Lottery to takes bets on sporting events and pay out winnings. Though there aren’t many sporting events happening right now for users to bet on, there’s a few soccer games listed on the platform’s website.

“A full-scale advertising and marketing campaign promoting GambetDC will launch as soon as there is a more robust schedule of major sporting events,” Bresnahan said during the meeting.

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