Capital One Arena Sportsbook

  • Major changes in mobile sports betting are on the horizon as the DC Council opens the market to multiple operators.
  • The new budget slashes tax rates and welcomes competitors like BetMGM and Caesars to expand citywide.
  • An amendment ensures betting kiosks remain in convenience stores and bars, even if FanDuel’s service is disrupted.

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, the DC Council unanimously approved the FY2025 budget, which includes significant reforms for mobile sports betting in Washington, DC.

The budget bill now awaits Mayor Muriel Bowser’s signature, after which it will undergo a 30-day congressional review before taking effect. These changes are anticipated to reshape the Washington DC sports betting landscape.

Opening the Digital Sports Betting Market

Currently, FanDuel holds a monopoly as the sole citywide platform, having replaced Intralot’s GamBetDC in April. However, the newly approved budget will allow multiple legal sportsbooks to enter the market. BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook, already established with physical locations at Nationals Park and Capital One Arena, respectively, will be among the first to expand their digital offerings throughout the District.

Other major operators, such as DraftKings and Fanatics, have shown interest in joining the market.

The new regulations stipulate that operators must partner with one of the seven professional DC sports teams, be in at least five states with legal sports betting, and pay a $2 million application fee for a five-year license. These operators could launch their services as soon as a week after the budget is approved.

Transition from Monopoly to Competitive Market

FanDuel’s current monopoly involves a 40% tax rate, which will be reduced to 20% under the new plan to encourage more operators. FanDuel president Christian Genetski had indicated that the company might withdraw from its lottery deal if the market opened up.

Fanatics has been a driving force behind the push for a competitive market. Fanatics VP of Government Affairs, Brandt Iden, hailed the Council’s decision, noting that it transitions DC from one of the worst-performing markets to a model for other regions moving away from single-operator systems.

To protect small businesses that rely on retail sports betting kiosks, the budget includes an amendment proposed by Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie. This provision ensures that convenience stores and bars, previously hosting GamBetDC kiosks, will continue to have access to legal sports betting kiosks. If FanDuel’s service is interrupted, other licensed operators will be able to supply these kiosks, ensuring continuity for small businesses.

As the budget moves to the next stages of approval, the future of sports betting in Washington, DC, looks poised for significant growth and transformation, offering enhanced user experiences and economic benefits.

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