DC Sports Betting | Betting Guide 2023

Note : this page is dedicated to Washington DC, not the State of Washington (WA).
Washington DC may be the epicenter of the nation’s legislative branch, but the District of Columbia took its time with legalizing gaming activities, apart from lotteries and charitable bingo events. However, that capital city embraced the new sports betting trend after the mayor signed a bill to legalize sports betting in 2019.

Best Sports Betting Sites in Washington DC

The Washington DC market is still in an inception phase, with the DC Lottery having a firm grip. Yet a few popular brands are present, with other online operators joining them soon.

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Although the market is strictly regulated, since May 2020, the total combined handle of every operator in the city amounts to $304 million, signaling healthy sports wagering appetite among the local population.

Sports fans can bet on online platforms or in land-based facilities. Several reputable operators are active in Washington DC, including Caesars through William Hill Sportsbook DC, and BetMGM DC, with FanDuel arriving soon. However, the only sportsbook available in the entire district is the GambetDC, owned by the DC Lottery.

The DC experience is unique, and let’s take a closer look at sports betting in this market.

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Latest Updates on Sports Betting in Washington DC

Following the legalization of sports betting in 2019, it took D.C. nearly a year to implement the necessary infrastructure.

  • June 1, 2022: Elys Game Technologies is teaming up with District Hospitality to open a sportsbook at BetDupon. If the license is issued, it will be Elys’ fourth restaurant sportsbook.
  • May 16, 2022: In April, the three commercial betting operators in the District took $13.2 million in sports wagers.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in DC?

Yes, players asking themselves, “is sports betting legal in DC” can rest assured that sports betting has been legal since 2019. It is regulated by the DC lottery, which issues two types of licenses: Class A and Class B. Both allow companies to operate a retail sportsbook in the District of Columbia but permit minimal app usage.

With a Class A license, players can wager through an app within a two-block radius of the physical venue. On the other hand, for Class B licensees, the app can get used only on the casino premises.

Both Caesars Sportsbook and BetMGM offer their apps for placing online bets but are restricted within the allowed radius of their retail sportsbook. The only application offered district-wide is Gambet DC.

Where to Bet on Sports in Washington DC?

Players in the nation’s capital have two options for betting on sports events. The most convenient method is through the mobile app offered by a few reputable sportsbooks with wide market coverage and attractive promotional packages. The second alternative is a retail sportsbook.

Caesars Sportsbook operates in DC via a partnership with Capital One Arena and operates a land-based sportsbook at the arena. BetMGM sportsbook operates through a partnership with the Washington Nationals, where it opened its retail sportsbook. Grand Central Sportsbook is the only one with a Class B license in the city and currently doesn’t offer a mobile app.

Online Sportsbooks Available Now in Washington DC

The specific restrictions have discouraged most operators from filing a request for a license. Yet three online sportsbooks have taken up the challenge in the district and offer quality DC sports betting opportunities. Let’s take a look at them.


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The BetMGM DC app provides coverage of popular North American leagues and international competitions. Players can wager with a wide range of betting types with competitive odds. The interface on the app and website is intuitive, and navigating the sections is very easy. New members benefit from a risk-free bet of up to $1,000 but can also access other regular promotions.

Sign up to BetMGM DC >

Caesars Sportsbook

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Caesars emerged as a powerhouse on the sports betting scene after acquiring William Hill sportsbook. Players can enjoy the mobile-friendly app and comprehensive coverage of sports markets. The welcome bonus is a risk-free bet up to $1,500, augmented by other promos and a generous loyalty program. The cashier section at Caesars sportsbook DC is limited, collaborating only with reputable payment methods.

sign up to caesar's DC

Gambet DC

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Gambet’s biggest selling point is the lack of regional restrictions on usage, meaning players can use it from the comforts of their homes. However, the freedom is interrupted by frequent technical issues with the DC betting app. Plus, the odds are not very attractive. Apart from the welcome promo of a risk-free bet of $1,200, other bonuses are infrequent.

Popular Legal Online Sports Betting Apps

Apart from the Gambet DC, every other sportsbook licensed by the DC Lottery can only offer access to its mobile app version within two blocks of its retail sportsbook. The Caesars land-based bookie is located at the Capital One Arena, while BetMGM has a partnership with the Washington Nationals and gets located at Nationals Park.

Online Sports Betting Sites Coming to Washington DC

FanDuel is one of the operators on the waiting list. The sportsbook has announced plans to open a retail sportsbook and apply for a Class A license, allowing players to wager via their sportsbook app. FanDuel Washington DC has formed a partnership with DC United and plans to use Audi Field as its home base in the capital.

Other Things to Know About Online Sports Betting Sites in Washington DC

Know that you know the legal side of things; let’s get to the action.

Sign up for a Washington DC Sportsbook Account

Registering on an online sportsbook is a standard procedure that takes only a few minutes. The sign-up process is open to residents and visitors of the capital, with a minimum age requirement of 18 years. Players are free to open an account on a mobile app or through a desktop PC. The registration procedure is fast, and users need only to fill in the required form by providing personal information.

Some operators require immediate identity verification, while others allow a postponement until a withdrawal request gets made. To confirm an identity player must submit a scanned copy of the stipulated ID documents. Security issues are not a problem, considering every sportsbook license in the District Of Columbia follows regulations and implements sophisticated encryption methods.

Welcome Bonus Available with Washington DC Sportsbooks

The staple sign-up bonus for operators in Washington DC is the risk-free bet. Bettors can wager a specified amount on a slip. In case of a losing bet, the sportsbook returns the amount in the form of credit. This bonus is available only for a single bet. Platforms like Caesars are the most generous, offering up to $1,500 in risk-free bets.

Betting on the Most Popular Washington DC Sports

The capital is home to clubs that compete in every significant sports league in North America. And sportsbooks offer numerous betting types for the comprehensive sports market of the District of Columbia.

NFL Betting in Washington DC

Players can wager on the Washington Commanders in the NFL. The team has called the capital home for 85 years, even though the club has been struggling with attendance in recent years. However, the four-month NFL season enables matchups with popular NFL clubs that attract attention. The newly named Commanders strive to rise to the top with the latest quarterback acquisition Carson Wentz, while coach Ron Rivera believes his squad has the potential to make it to the playoffs. Caesars is one operator in the city with a partnership with the NFL. Most sportsbooks available in the city allow bettors to wager with Moneyline, totals, and parlay bets.

NBA Betting in Washington DC

The young roster of the Wizards makes them a team to watch out for in future NBA seasons. The Bullets, as the team was named until 1997, brought local fans joy with the championship title in 1974. The team has experienced a long championship hiatus since then, but fans have remained loyal. Bettors in the capital prefer to use point spread bets when wagering on games in the Eastern Conference. Proposition bets are becoming popular with younger players, as most bettors take up the challenge of predicting the outcome of the creative scenarios offered by sportsbooks.

NHL Betting in Washington DC

In recent years, the Washington Capitals had a successful track record in the NHL, winning the Stanley Cup in 2018. The popular Caps are one of the most successful teams in the district. The Capitals are a regular playoff contender, and the Capital One Arena stands are full of fans cheering on the action on the ice. Hockey may be the fastest game, but it’s not a high-scoring game, hence why bettors prefer to wager on future bets, guessing which team will win the division or conference.

MLB Betting in Washington DC

Recently, live betting is becoming trendy in the capital. Baseball fans are using the bet type on Washington Nationals games in the MLB, predicting if a batter will hit a home run or get a strikeout. The Nationals are a relatively new addition to the sports scene in the district, arriving in 2005. In 2008, they moved to their new official home Nationals Park, one of the most modern baseball venues in the nation. Fans have celebrated four East Division titles, and more get expected from the Nationals in the MLB.

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History of Washington DC Sports Betting

Following the 2018 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to nullify the federal law that prohibited sports gambling, most states started implementing legislation that allowed the licensing of online sportsbooks and retail bookies within the jurisdictions of a state.

The new trend wasn’t ignored in the District of Columbia. Only four months after the ruling by the Supreme Court, DC council member Jack Evans proposed a bill for authorizing licensed and regulated sports betting in the District of Columbia.

The bill didn’t get a positive reception after the initial hearing in October of the same year. It had to get modified before the next council meeting in November when a unanimous vote removed the proposal from the legislation. However, this didn’t signal the end of the legal battle.

Lobby Efforts on Both Sides

After intense lobbying by a coalition of operators and sports leagues, the sentiment was changed.

Although both lobbying groups could not agree on the preferred format, Evans recommended a single operator under the umbrella of the DC lottery. Alternatively, sports betting operators voiced support for a minimum of five licenses to be issued in the district. This idea got promoted by FunDuel and DraftKings but with no result.

The necessary support did not materialize, and the amendment advocating multiple operators failed. Operating a sports betting site in the district as a whole was reserved for the DC lottery.

The D.C. Council passed the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 at the end of the same year. In January 2019, the bill got signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser. Following the mandatory congressional review and approval, on May 3, 2019, sports wagering was officially legalized in Washington DC.

The DC Lottery took the lead and, on May 28, 2020, announced it would launch an online sportsbook with a supporting mobile app. The release of the Gambet DC platform was postponed on a few occasions because of technical issues.

The big moment arrived on June 15, when players in Washington DC could legally register onto a sportsbook for the first time and make a wager on their preferred sports events.

Evolving Market

The rigorous restriction didn’t discourage every operator in the USA, and some decided to participate in the market. Caesars entered the district in May 2021, after William Hill opened a sportsbook at Capital One Arena, making the sports venue the first professional arena in the USA to have an on-site bookie.

BetMGM followed suit and, in January 2022, opened its sportsbook on the premises of the Nationals Park. Both operators possess Class A licenses meaning a player can access their sports betting apps within a two-block radius from the physical location of the bookies.

In the summer of 2021, D.C. permitted four bars to install self-serve betting kiosks, with Grand Central converting a section of its facility into a sportsbook. Other operators are on the horizon and soon may enter the Washington sports betting scene and start providing wagering options to local sports fans.