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Matthew Jones
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Matthew Jones
Last Updated:
June 6, 2021
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This author was thoroughly tested and approved by the experts at BettingBilly.com before joining the editorial board to ensure a high content quality.
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Matthew is a former journalist and entrepreneur. Before he turned 18 he'd already started an online-shop, grew it to more than $1m in sales and sold it. Together with Richard he is now in charge of BettigBilly. His specialties are gambling mathematics and creating winning betting strategies.
Matthew is a former journalist and entrepreneur. Before he turned 18 he'd already started an online-shop, grew it to more than $1m in sales and sold it. Together with Richard he is now in charge of BettigBilly. His specialties are gambling mathematics and creating winning betting strategies.

D.C. Online Sports Betting in 2021

Sports Betting in D.C.: Legal in 2021

Are you exploring sports betting possibilities in the District of Columbia? The good news for all bettors is that the state legalized sports wagering in 2019. Although retail and online betting has been made available, there are many specifics related to wagering on sports in Washington, D.C. Our team did research, and this page will bring all necessary information about sports betting in D.C. Stay tuned as we are going to guide you through legal Washington D.C. sports betting.

Land-based Betting Operators & Racetracks in D.C. 2021

Washington D.C. sports betting was approved in May 2019 by D.C. City Council via the B22-0944 bill. According to B22-0944, operators can apply for two available licenses – Class A and Class B. Both permissions allow companies to operate land-based betting, and both have their set of criteria. The D.C. Lotter regulates the market and grants licenses if the applicants meet all requirements.

The Class A license is available for retail sportsbooks in the major sports venues in Washington, D.C. Therefore, betting operators with Class A permission can operate in major arenas, such as:

  • Capital One Arena
  • Audi Field
  • Nationals Park
  • Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena

William Hill was the first retail sportsbook in Washington, D.C., operating its business from Capital One Arena. Despite there is no hard cap on the number of land-based betting operators, the list is still pretty short. However, BetMGM and FanDuel could start their retail operations in D.C. quite soon. Audi Field should host FanDuel, while BetMGM should open its business at Nationals Park during 2021. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena still don't have an announced betting partner, but William Hill might get a second location.

When we speak about the Class B licenses, they are available to independent sportsbooks hosted in restaurants and bars. Although there are several applicants, no Class B license has been granted yet. Only the gentlemen's club Cloakroom D.C. and the bar Grand Central D.C. are under review from those who applied.

Online Betting in D.C. 2021

The list of online sportsbooks in D.C. is not so extensive as in some other states, as there are only two licensed online betting operators. Besides those two, another couple of sportsbooks are in the process of obtaining the license. The B22-0944 bill also regulates the D.C. online betting licenses, also categorized in Class A and Class B. However, online betting in D.C. is slightly different from other states, so let's dip into more detail.

Online betting in D.C. is geofenced, meaning that you can place your bets only if you are located in a specific area. D.C. online sportsbooks that operate under the Class A license enable the bettors to place their wagers if they are located in a two-block radius of the corresponding retail venue. On the other hand, punters that use a Class B licensed online sportsbook can bet online only if they are located at the property of the corresponding land-based bookmaker.

However, GambetDC doesn't fall under these restrictions. Since D.C. Lottery launched it, bettors can enjoy sports betting within the Washington D.C. borders. On the other hand, the odds and lines you can find in this sportsbook are by far less generous than the ones offered by other bookies in D.C. and other states.

Besides Gambet DC, William Hill also operates as the online sportsbook in Washington D.C. This worldwide-known bookmaker can offer its online services in a two-block radius from Capital One Arena, as it has the Class A license.

The other two operators, BetMGM and FanDuel, still haven't launched the online sportsbook in D.C. BetMGM will likely become the third licensed online sportsbook in D.C. as they have already filed their application. On the other hand, although FanDuel partnered with the MLS side DC United, it is still unclear when we can expect them to launch their operations.

Mobile Sports Betting in D.C. 2021

Similar to online wagering, mobile sports betting also falls under geofencing restrictions. Of course, GambetDC still remains the most accessible D.C. sports betting app, as punters can access it from anywhere within the Washington, D.C. territory. Besides Gambet DC, the William Hill sports betting app is also available, but the punters can place their wagers only if they are located near Capital One Arena.

You must be wondering how the wagering availability can be limited just to two blocks away from the land-based sportsbook? The geolocation verification software checks your exact location and ensures that you are in the allowed area for placing your bets. Every punter is required to enable the sportsbook's website to know the location as proof that it is in the "buffer area."

Bettors can also consult the Office of Lottery and Gaming maps to find the "buffer areas" marked in blue. Besides the Capital One Arena area, the map shows the potential allowed areas when the sportsbooks open their businesses in other Class A venues.

D.C. Betting Site List: Legal Sportsbooks in 2021

Here you don't need to text anything. This list will be included through us. Change the state abbreviation in the following shortcode with the states abbreviation you are writing about.

OperatorLandbased Partner
BetMGMBorgata Hotel Casino & Spa
William HillMonmouth Park & Ocean Resort Casino

Favorite Sports & Teams in D.C.

Since Washington D.C. is the US capital, it is natural that it hosts many well-known professional teams from major sports. We are about to mention the most notable teams which found their home in Washington D.C.

As the most popular sport in the country, football doesn't leave the people in Washington D.C immune as well. It is also the most popular sport to wager on, and the Super Bowl is the major sporting event in the US. Washington D.C. is the home of the NFL side Washington Football Team, formerly known as Redskins. However, the nickname was retired in 2020, and the new mascot will be announced in 2022.

D.C. has also been a home of the NBA side Washington Wizards. The team's journey started in 1961 as Chicago packers, but just two years later, they moved to Baltimore and became Bullets. Later on, the team adopted Washington as its name and won the NBA title in 1978. Since the team's nickname had a violent connotation, the owner Abe Pollin changed the mascot, and they became Washington Wizards.

Washington has a very successful representative in NHL, although ice hockey probably enjoys the lowest popularity of the four major sports. The Capitals lifted the Stanley Cup in the 2017/18 season, while they were conference champions on two occasions. It's pretty easy to bet on NHL as they play their home matches at Capital One Arena, and since William Hill has its retail sportsbook and online betting app available there.

We shouldn't skip soccer, although it's not the most popular sport in the US. DC United is the 1998 CONCACAF Champions League winner and an MLS Cup winner on four occasions. Audi Field is the team's home, and we might see FanDuel opening their business in this facility soon.

What you Can and Can't Bet on in D.C.

The list of sports and events that you can bet on in D.C. is quite extensive. However, there are some restrictions in terms of college and high-school betting. According to the DC Municipal Regulation Section 30-2127, punters cannot place their bets on these types of events:

  • College games that take place in D.C.
  • College games where District of Columbia college or university is a participant
  • College games where the operator knows that a coach or player placed a bet
  • College games not involving D.C. teams
  • Amateur events, excluding the Olympics
  • All high school sports events

On the other hand, the list of professional sports available for betting should meet all your preferences. Besides placing wagers on all major sports, punters can back their favorite teams or players in sports like Lacrosse, Darts, Cricket, or Cycling.

However, eSports doesn't enter this list yet, including betting on political elections and award ceremonies.

Gambling in D.C.: Since when is it legal to Bet

Sports betting has always been present in the US, and the first forms of it go back to the 18th century. Washington D.C., as the capital, had a significant influence on sports wagering in the US. All laws and acts that allowed or prohibited sports betting flowed from here, as D.C. was the starting point for all initiatives.

Until the 1960s, sports betting was widespread across the US states. However, gambling slid into organized crime and became great trouble for the government. Therefore, the authorities enacted the Wire Act of 1961 that was designed to prevent gamblers and bookies from arranging bets over the phone and other electronic communication channels. The Wire Act of 1961 is still in place, which is the primary reason why sports betting is regulated on the state level.

The main purpose of the Wire Act was to prevent criminal activities in gambling. The fight against illegal activities in sports betting didn't stop there, as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was set in place in 1992. This act banned sports betting in any state not grandfathered, which made Nevada monopolize the legal sports wagering in the US.

However, the US Supreme Court ended PASPA in 2018 and opened doors to legalizing sports betting as it became a question for each state.

Although the district is not a state itself, it can also enact all regulations related to sports betting within the district area. The US capital also started to put efforts into enabling sports betting D.C., which was finally legalized thanks to the B22-0944 bill.

Gambling Guide: D.C. Online Betting

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Conclusion: Try Out D.C. Sports Betting
Sports betting Washington D.C. has been available since May 2019, after all necessary legal actions have been completed. Although the number of available sportsbooks is still limited, you can sign up and kick off your sports wagering experience. Make the first deposit, and you can expect to get some extra funds as a bonus. Dip into the offer that includes multiple betting types, back your favorite teams and players, and enjoy the action!

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