Washington D.C. Switching Operators from GambetDC to FanDuel

USA Legal Betting


  • Gambet offered poor betting odds and often experienced technical glitches
  • FanDuel is the nation’s leader in sports betting and will pay at least $45 million 
  • D.C. officials hope the change will also catalyze retail betting markets

The capital’s Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) announced on Saturday that FanDuel will take over the struggling Washington D.C. sports betting market from GambetDC.

The OLG did not provide a timeline as to when the transition will occur and did not state whether users will have to create new accounts with FanDuel once the change is made. Regardless, the move brings the nation’s leader in sports betting to replace a product stymied by uncompetitive odds and a variety of malfunctions.

Officials hope the market reset will catalyze a market that has struggled to get going, which is rare almost to the point of being unique amid the rapid growth of sports betting.

A long-awaited change 

FanDuel, which has been rumored to potentially launch in D.C. during spring, said in a statement that it will pay $5 million upfront as a “conversion fee” and $10 million annually for the next four years. It also projected $119 million in gaming revenue in five years and will take on the $2-4 million in expenses D.C. pays to operate a sportsbook. 
The district’s soon-to-be operator will also power betting kiosks at more than 50 retail locations in addition to providing users with a legal sports betting site
“FanDuel’s industry-leading offering will ensure that the District maximizes tax revenue under its existing contracts this year while delivering a best-in-class experience,” OLG Executive Director Frank Suarez said in a statement. 
GambetDC was created by Greek gaming company Intralot, which also controls the district’s lottery. The betting app launched in May 2020 but failed to gain any traction due to poor performance and reviews from locals. 
In 2019, D.C. officials estimated that they would receive $20 million in annual funding via tax revenue from sports betting, which would translate to $84 million at the start of 2024. 
D.C. Council member and chairman of the business and economic development committee, Kenyan R. McDuffie (I-At Large), said that the operator produced just over $4.3 million from the time it launched to the start of the new year, an underperformance of more than 95%. 
McDuffie also noted that the operator struggled so greatly that it even lost money during the summer of 2023, leading him to believe that “change [was] necessary to replace the dreadful performance of GambetDC.” 

Responding to challenges 

The decision to move on from Gambet was down to two main factors: the lack of economic performance, and the dissatisfaction of D.C. residents. 

“I’ve heard from many residents about their unease with the District's woeful performance on sports betting,” said McDuffie. “And I absolutely share those same sentiments, from issues around usability, customer service, and seriously declining revenue. We know the current model simply is not working.” 

Local officials weren’t the only ones who were dissatisfied with the entire ordeal. Intralot grew frustrated with the owner of the betting app, Veterans Services Corp., but could not find a way to remove them from the contract.

Intralot also had to pay the company and its head, Maryland resident Emmanuel Bailey, $1.4 million per year for the app.

The OLG believes that the change will offer a major boost to local businesses housing the betting kiosks, which they believe will receive 150-200% greater profits following the change. 

As proof of that, the Washington Business Journal reported that $116.2 million was wagered at the district’s five retail sportsbooks while only $69.6 million was risked at GambetDC during the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30. 

“I think it’s the right decision for D.C. and actually for the D.C. gamer. You know, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” said Brian Vasile, owner of Grand Central Restaurant, Bar and Sportsbook. “I think it brings more people to the space who maybe have heard some negative things about Gambet.”