Last updated: Jan. 12, 2022
The DC sports betting scene is among the most unique in the U.S. The nation’s capital’s retail betting market outpaces the DC Lottery-run mobile offering, as third-party operators are restricted to brick-and-mortar locations only.
Our guide to sports betting in DC will keep you up to date with the district's latest bonuses, news, and betting opportunities.
Mayor Muriel Bowser signed off on the district’s sports wagering bill on Jan. 23, 2019, and Congress gave the final green light when it opted not to intervene within 60 days of the district’s approval.
The controversial decision to monopolize all online and mobile gaming has seemingly backfired in DC. GambetDC, the Intralot-powered lottery platform, has failed to deliver after promising to generate more sports betting revenue than a potential open-market model. The district’s retail sportsbooks, Caesars and BetMGM, have proven to be the bigger draws in the nation’s capital.
The timeline below outlines the major events in DC’s legal sports betting journey:
May 14, 2018: SCOTUS overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Each U.S. jurisdiction is now free to legalize and regulate sports betting.
Jan. 23, 2019: Mayor Muriel Bowser signs Bill 22-944. As DC is not a state, Congress is given 60 days to veto the district’s approval of the bill.
May 3, 2019: The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 goes into effect with no intervention from Congress.
Aug. 30, 2019: The Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) finalizes DC sports betting rules and regulations.
Dec. 29, 2020: William Hill launches its mobile app in DC. Bettors must remain within a two-block radius of Capital One Arena to place bets.
May 26, 2021: William Hill becomes the first operator to open a retail sportsbook in a professional sports venue in the United States. Capital One Arena houses the brick-and-mortar sportsbook.
June 8, 2021: FanDuel applies for a DC sports betting license.
June 10, 2021: BetMGM partners with the Washington Nationals and launches geofenced mobile betting at Nationals Park.
Aug. 2, 2021: William Hill rebrands as Caesars Sportbook by William Hill.
Oct. 4, 2021: Grand Central Restaurant, Bar, and Sportbook becomes the first restaurant and Class B operator to open a sportsbook in DC.
DC sports bettors must be at least 18 years of age to place a legal wager online or in person. Retail sportsbooks and betting kiosks can be found throughout the district.
Here's a look at everything you'll need to know before placing your first DC sports bet.
While most U.S. jurisdictions require sports bettors to be at least 21, DC accepts legal wagers from those as young as 18 years old.
While Caesars and BetMGM have both launched mobile betting in DC, these sportsbook apps are tethered to brick-and-mortar locations and can only be accessed by bettors within a two-block radius. DC’s only district-wide option is GambetDC, a lottery-run platform. The Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) regulates all mobile betting in DC.
GambetDC allows users to complete the sign-up process from anywhere in DC. Expect to share some personal details, including the last four digits of your SSN. Bettors will need to visit the BetMGM or Caesars retail sportsbook to register and bet with their respective mobile apps.
All GambetDC bets must be placed by gamblers physically located in DC. The platform uses geofencing software to ensure that all users haven’t stumbled into a neighboring state.
DC sports gamblers can find brick-and-mortar locations at Capital One Arena, Nationals Park, and Grand Central Restaurant, Bar, and Sportsbook. FanDuel will launch a retail location in 2022 at Audi Field.
DC gamblers are taxed at the federal and state levels. The DC lottery reports all gambling winnings over $600 and must withhold 25% of payouts exceeding $5,000. At the state level, expect to hand over an additional 8.5% of sports bet winnings.
DC benefits from fully mobile sports wagering, meaning residents and visitors can place legal bets from anywhere in the district. Unfortunately, the DC Lottery holds a monopoly on citywide online betting. GambetDC's poor odds have sent bettors scrambling to the nearest retail sportsbook to confirm their picks.
DC bettors have the option of betting online with GambetDC or visiting a retail sportsbook. Alternatives aren’t exactly plentiful, so you must take advantage of sign-up bonuses and seek out the most favorable betting lines available.
Before placing a wager, sports bettors will have to decide how they want to bet in DC. If gambling remotely, GambetDC will be the only way to go. The in-person crowd should consider BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook.
Sports bettors in DC can register with GambetDC with just a few clicks or taps. After sharing some personal information and verifying your account, you’ll nearly be ready to place your first bet.
New bettors will often have the opportunity to claim a welcome bonus. Be sure to scour a sportsbook's website and mobile app to ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck on your initial wager. GambetDC, BetMGM, and Caesars Sportsbook all offer sign-up perks to new users.
DC sports gamblers can fund their GambetDC sportsbook account with credit cards, debit cards, Skrill, Play+, and VIP Preferred ACH/e-Check. Most deposits should appear in your account immediately, but some may come with transaction fees.
DC sportsbooks offer players all of the popular bet types. From moneylines, point spreads, and Over/Unders (totals) to live betting, props, and parlays, bettors will be sure to find what they're looking for.
Once you’ve brushed up on the basics and identified the bets you’re comfortable with, you’ll be ready to confirm your pick(s). Make sure you're familiar with the conditions your sportsbook places on each type of bet.
Withdrawals, unlike deposits, are not immediate. It can take a few days for an online sportsbook to process withdrawn funds, and it may take a couple of additional days before you see your winnings in your bank account. Always read the terms and conditions of the sportsbook and your financial institution to avoid unwelcomed surprises.
American odds show DC bettors which event is favored and which event is more unlikely to occur. These odds also display the potential payout for a successful wager.
You can spot a favorite by looking for a minus (-) sign. The number that follows indicates how much you'll have to bet to win $100. For example, -300 odds tell you a $300 wager will return $100.
Underdogs are accompanied by a plus (+) sign. The amount next to the plus sign is the amount you would win should you place a $100 stake on a winner. For example, +200 odds tell you a $100 bet could lead to $200 in profit. While the riskier bet, a wager on an underdog could pay huge dividends.
If you'd prefer to view odds as decimals or fractions, head over to our odds converter. Here, you'll be able to cycle between American, decimal, and fractional odds.
Washington, DC set a new monthly record with its October 2021 sports betting handle — the DC Lottery and three commercial operators took in a combined $26.3 million.
Unlike other states with fully mobile wagering, retail sports betting accounts for much of the action in the district. With GambetDC's lackluster odds, gamblers tend to prefer the betting lines found at brick-and-mortar locations.
The figures below will be updated monthly (Note: GambetDC and commercial figures are released separately by the OLG. We've combined these figures in the yearly breakdown below):
|Year||Total handle||Revenue||Hold percentage|
There are a few betting restrictions in DC. The following wagers are off-limits:
DC bettors cannot bet on political events. This type of bet is off-limits in every U.S. jurisdiction.
There is no way to bet on esports in DC at this time.
College bets can be placed online or at a retail sportsbook in DC. There is a catch, however. Bettors cannot wager on any game taking place in the district.
GambetDC is the only option for district-wide online betting. Physical bets can be placed at two sportsbooks: Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena and Grand Central Sportsbook.
Nationals Park — currently accepting mobile bets — will soon be home to a full-fledged BetMGM sportsbook, while FanDuel will be opening a brick-and-mortar location at Audi Field in 2022. Locally-owned Handle 19 is expected to open the nation’s first independent retail sportsbook in the near future.
Three DC bars — Duffy’s Irish Pub, Wet Dog Tavern, and The Brig — have applied for Class B sports betting licenses. Duffy’s Irish Pub is now operational with self-serve GambetDC betting kiosks.
|Online sportsbook||Mobile app||Odds provider||Online casino||Retail partner|
|Caesars Sportsbook||Yes||Caesars||No||Capital One Arena|
|Sportsbook||Venue||Odds provider||Launch date|
|BetMGM||Nationals Park||BetMGM||June 2021 (mobile only)|
|Caesars Sportsbook||Capital One Arena||Caesars||May 2021|
|Grand Central Sportsbook||Grand Central Restaurant, Bar, and Sportsbook||Elys||October 2021|
|Handle 19||Handle 19||TBD||TBD|
DC fans are a passionate bunch, and while it’s admirable to back your hometown team through both championship runs and painful rebuilds, it’s not always wise to support them with your bankroll. Always ensure your bets are unbiased and well-researched before locking them in.
Check out our how to bet guides to get started.
In 2011, DC passed the first online gambling law in U.S. history. Unfortunately, the city chose to repeal the law in February 2012 due to procedural concerns and a lack of transparency. Aside from sports betting, all types of online gambling remain illegal in DC.
You won’t find any casino gambling facilities in DC. As mentioned, online casinos are illegal in the district as well.
Nearby casinos can be found in Maryland, while West Virginia is the best option for online casino betting.
Aside from charity poker events, there is no legal poker in DC. However, card sharks can find several poker tables in Maryland and West Virginia.
Although there are no dedicated horse racing tracks or off-track betting sites (OTBs) in DC, Maryland and Virginia offer nearby live and online wagering options.
Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course are the most popular options for live betting, while TVG and TwinSpires lead the way for online betting in MD and VA.
Gamblers in DC can legally participate in DFS contests. Language outlawing daily fantasy sports has not been included in the district’s sports betting legislation.
Despite its relatively conservative stance on gambling, DC is surrounded by legal betting. For residents unable to control their gambling habits, many resources are available. The National Council on Problem Gambling is headquartered in DC and is the first place problem gamblers should turn. The district’s self-exclusion program also gives individuals an opportunity to ban themselves from all forms of gambling voluntarily.Visit National Council on Problem Gambling
In addition to DC, many U.S. states offer legal sports betting. You can wager online and/or in person in the following jurisdictions:
Although it may be tempting, we recommend avoiding offshore sportsbooks when betting in DC. These websites are not regulated by the Office of Lottery and Gaming, and you'll have no legal recourse should anything happen to your bankroll. Stay away from the operators below.
Yes, sports betting is legal in DC. Event wagering is regulated by the Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG).
You can bet online from anywhere in the district with GambetDC (online and kiosks) or visit a retail sportsbook to place wagers in person.
DC sports bettors can place all popular wagers online or at a brick-and-mortar location.
While some retail sportsbooks may have an online app, these can only be used within a two-block radius of the sportsbook. There is only one fully mobile and district-wide online option — GambetDC.
Yes, you may confirm your bets with a sportsbook mobile app or the GambetDC website.
The lottery-powered GambetDC platform sets its own odds, and this has pushed many sports bettors to retail locations in DC. These brick-and-mortar sportsbooks serve up odds also found in Vegas.
You must be 18 or older to place a legal sports bet in DC.
No, bet365 is not licensed to operate in DC.
Anywhere in the district. DC has fully mobile event wagering via GambetDC. If you prefer to bet in person, you can find retail sportsbooks at Capital One Arena and Nationals Park. GambetDC kiosks are operational at licensed Class B locations.
Yes, you can bet on DC teams. You may not, however, wager on college games played in DC.
No, but you cannot use Gambet DC if you are not physically located in DC. The platform uses geofencing software to restrict access to those outside of DC.
In 2020, the DC Lottery and the city's commercial operators raked in approximately $13.5 million in revenue.