Washington, D.C.’s new online sports gambling platform, GambetDC, was launched on May 28, but it is currently only available through web browsers.
An app for GambetDC will be ready for users of iOS and Android devices early next month, the Washington Post reported.
The launch was delayed after a legal process targeting the D.C. Council which awarded a $215 million no-bid contract to Intralot, the Greek firm that operates the D.C. Lottery last year. It was followed by the COVID-19 pandemic that took the world by storm, leading to the cancellation of sports events everywhere.
“It is a new betting experience in the District that makes live betting and wagering on sporting events just as easy as watching them,” Gambet’s website says. “Whether you bet using the GambetDC app or website, you can bet with friends, have fun, game responsibly, and join a community of winners.”
The company also states that net revenues generated from the service are returned to the District’s General Fund to directly benefit the residents of the District of Columbia, as it is powered by the D.C. Lottery.
However, there are very few sporting events going on in the District and worldwide.
“While we recognize there will be a limited number of events to wager on, this ‘soft launch’ will provide us with an opportunity to roll out the GambetDC website to potential players in the District in preparation for the return of sports,” Nicole Jordan, the director of marketing and communications at the Office of Lottery and Gaming, was quoted as saying.
In September 2019, Dylan Carragher, a D.C. resident who produced his own mobile app for sports betting, sued the D.C. Council for signing a controversial no-bid contract with Intralot, claiming it was in violation of the Home Rule Act, due to lack of competitive bidding.
The judge overseeing the case ruled that the D.C. Council’s decision, saying the Intralot contract was potentially unlawful.
The D.C. Council approved a five-year agreement with the Athens-based gaming firm in July 2019 for the city’s e-sports betting and lottery program in the hopes of earning $92 million in the next four years.
The Washington Post reported at the time that several council members voiced their concerns about suspending competitive bidding rules prior to the agreement, and about some subcontractors’ ties to local politicians. Council member Jack Evans, however, supported the contract, before being involved in an ethics scandal.
The District legalized sports betting in late 2018. Physical sports betting locations will be licensed in the coming months. Intralot’s app was planned to come out early next year.