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Michael Tradford
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This author was thoroughly tested and approved by the experts at AmericaGambles.com before joining the editorial board to ensure a high content quality.
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Michael was Marketing Director in Atlantic City and worked in the casino industry for several years before shifting over to numerous newspapers in New York and Chicago working his way up to Editor-in-Chief. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports, gambling, and politics. He has a Marketing Degree, visited Columbia University during his time in New York and is now Editor-in-Chief at AmericaGambles.
Michael was Marketing Director in Atlantic City and worked in the casino industry for several years before shifting over to numerous newspapers in New York and Chicago working his way up to Editor-in-Chief. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports, gambling, and politics. He has a Marketing Degree, visited Columbia University during his time in New York and is now Editor-in-Chief at AmericaGambles.

Online Betting Sites In Washington D.C.

Sports Betting in Washington D.C.: Quick Overview 2021

Washington D.C. is not technically a state, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an appetite for sports wagering there. Sports betting has been made legal in Washington D.C., with sports betting in the District of Columbia currently growing to include multiple operators that give sports bettors several legal and regulated options to choose from.

In this guide to Washington D.C. sports betting, find out everything there is to know about wagering on sports in the nation’s capital both online and in-person. Included in that repertoire is an interesting land-based sports wagering option that does not exist in many United States markets.

  • Online and mobile sports betting available everywhere in D.C.
  • Land-based sports betting legal at two sports venues
  • Potential to expand online betting options in the future

Land-based Betting Operators & Racetracks in D.C. 2021

The land-based sports betting situation in Washington D.C. is not exactly robust, as there are only a couple of land-based sports wagering locations available. There are no racetracks or casinos that currently exist in the District of Columbia, which eliminates the possibility of land-based sports betting that many states enjoy at their casinos. Instead, the only two land-based sports wagering locations are the sports arenas that are in the area.

Those two land-based betting locations are Nationals Park and Capital One Arena. Nationals Park is the home of the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball. And Capital One Arena is the home of the Washington Wizards of the NBA along with the NHL’s Washington Capitals. Nationals Park is the home of a land-based BetMGM sportsbook, while Capital One Arena hosts a William Hill location inside of the arena.

The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 is the statute that is responsible for the legalization of Washington D.C. sports betting, which made it possible for both the land-based and online sports wagering that we see in D.C. today. From a land-based perspective, lawmakers had to get creative to make up for the fact that there are no land-based casinos in Washington D.C. to this point.

It will be interesting to see if casinos will become a reality in Washington D.C. in the future. With nearby Virginia finally passing legislation that will pave the way for land-based casinos to be built there, it is possible that D.C. will follow suit one day in the future.

Sports Betting in the District of Columbia

Is Sports Betting in D.C. legal? We have the answer!

Online Betting in the District of Columbia 2021

As it pertains to online sports betting D.C. has a couple of options to choose from with different areas in which they can be used. First, there is the main online sports betting option in D.C., which is known as GambetDC. This option is run by the state lottery, and was set up upon the passage of the aforementioned Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act. It can be used anywhere within Washington D.C.

The two sportsbooks that are set up for land-based sports wagering can also be used online, but with some serious limitations. BetMGM, which operates physically out of Nationals Park, allows for online sports betting to be done within two blocks of Nationals Park. And William Hill, which operates out of Capital One Arena, has a similar two-block radius limit to its online sports wagering product.

While this is certainly better than nothing, the inability to use BetMGM and William Hill online outside of those two-block radii is somewhat disappointing. Given the extremely positive reputations that BetMGM and William Hill have, bettors would likely prefer to use them over GambetDC. But that isn’t possible with the exception of just a few blocks that surround the two major sporting venues in D.C. at this point in time.

In the future, it is possible that Washington D.C. will change its stance on online sports betting to allow for more competition between the lottery-backed GambetDC and the other operators that are permitted in D.C.

Mobile Sports Betting in Washington D.C. 2021

Mobile sports betting follows the same pattern as online sports betting in Washington D.C. as there is only one D.C. sports betting app that is allowed to be used throughout all of Washington. That would be the GambetDC app, which is the state lottery backed platform that has come under some scrutiny since coming into existence as its odds have been consistently worse than the odds of other operators.

The mobile apps for William Hill and BetMGM can be used in Washington D.C., but only within the two block radius around their respective land-based homes. This means that bettors either have to physically travel to either Nationals Park or Capital One Arena, unless they want to settle for the less favorable odds that come with using GambetDC. Depending on what kind of trip that is and what odds are available, it might not be worth it for most bettors to take such a trip.

Mobile app betting in D.C. is another area where growth is certainly possible in the future. Not only is there the potential to expand what BetMGM and William Hill are allowed to do. But there is also the possibility for more mobile operators to join the fray in the future. With some states allowing over a dozen mobile sports betting apps, Washington D.C. could allow for more operators to come into the state to give bettors more options. This would also require sportsbooks to compete against one another to create the most favorable possible environment for bettors, which would be a positive for players.

Washington D.C. Betting Site List: Legal Betting Operators in 2021

OperatorLandbased Partner
BetMGMNationals Park
Caesars SportsbookBally's Atlantic City
William HillMonmouth Park & Ocean Resort Casino

Gambling in the District of Columbia: A journey into the past

The history of gambling in Washington D.C. is extremely limited, with the sports betting Washington D.C. currently offers taking up most of that history. The history of gambling in D.C. didn’t start until the 1980s, when the state lottery was set up to be the first form of wagering in the state, which still doesn’t have casinos to this day to bolster the list of wagering options that are up for grabs.

There was an attempt to make sports wagering legal in D.C. in the late 1980s, as Washington D.C. looked to put together a lottery-based game that was similar to the Sports Action game the Oregon Lottery had made an option previously. But lawmakers and the local media were quick to excoriate that idea, and it never became legal.

The real start of the history of gambling in Washington D.C. came in 2018 when moves were made to attempt to legalize sports wagering. Those moves resulted in the current legalization of sports gambling that has materialized today. Though, as you can see, there are still plenty of moves to be made to improve the sports betting climate in D.C.

One other area where sports-based wagering is allowed to take place is the daily fantasy sports world. With daily fantasy sports being technically considered a game of skill, there is no ability to consider it illegal wagering. Therefore, operators like DraftKings and FanDuel are able to accept players from D.C. for their DFS games.

Washington D.C. Gambling Guide

With so many wagering options available in different states, it is a good idea to brush up on which methods are legal and which methods are not in Washington D.C. Here is a look at the legal status of several popular forms of wagering in D.C., so bettors know what to expect when they go to place their bets.

Gambling TypeLegal Status
Land-Based CasinoIllegal
Land-Based GamblingLegal & Regulated
Land-Based Horse RacingIllegal
Land-Based PokerIllegal
Land-Based LotteryLegal & Regulated
Online CasinoIllegal
Online GamblingLegal & Regulated
Online Horse RacingIllegal
Online PokerIllegal
Online LotteryLegal & Regulated
Daily Fantasy SportsGray
Social GamblingGray
Minimum Age to Bet18

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FAQ

Often asked and answered here

In Washington D.C. online betting is legal through a couple of different sources. There is GambetDC, which is usable anywhere in D.C., as well as BetMGM and William Hill which are available in limited locations.

There are multiple legal sports betting sites in Washington D.C., but there is only one site that can be used anywhere in Washington. That would be GambetDC, which is the state lottery’s sports betting platform. It is currently the only platform that can be used for an online bet anywhere within D.C. lines.

Legal online sports wagering opened in Washington D.C. in May of 2020. It was legalized in 2019, but delays in ironing out the specifics of legal sports gambling caused some lag time between legalization and the actual launch of the platform.

Online wagering became legal in D.C. in 2019 when their sports wagering bill was passed into law. That law encompassed both land-based and online sports betting, which saw sports wagering go live in the state in the spring of 2020.

Bettors can play using their mobile devices anywhere in Washington D.C. through the GambetDC app. They can also play within a couple of blocks of Nationals Park or Capital One Arena through the respective sports betting apps for those venues.

The Washington D.C. lottery is the organization that is in charge of overseeing each bet that takes place in Washington D.C. whether they come from GambetDC or the other apps in the market.

Bettors can place several bets in Washington D.C., from standard wagers like point spreads and totals to exotic parlays and teasers. There are few limits as to what bettors can bet on in D.C. at this time.

Conclusion

Just Enough Betting Options
There is still progress to be made in Washington D.C. in terms of the sports betting options that are available. But there are online sportsbook options available for everyone looking to bet in D.C., which is more than a lot of full-fledged states can say at this time. Because of that, Washington D.C. earns high marks for delivering what bettors need even if there are still more options to be explored. Don’t miss out on your chance to check out Washington D.C. sports gambling for yourself. Take advantage of this sports betting offer in Washington D.C. now.
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