Mar 12, 2024 - News

D.C. is ditching GambetDC for FanDuel

A smartphone that says FanDuel

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

FanDuel will replace GambetDC as D.C.'s only sports gambling app sometime this spring.

Why it matters: The glitchy city-run app has continued to frustrate its users while the firm in charge collects a lavish salary, as Axios revealed last year.

Driving the news: The D.C. Lottery, which manages the contract, announced Monday that it's ditching GambetDC and will soon make the national sportsbook app available to gamblers within the city.

  • FanDuel says it will pay an initial $5 million fee to the D.C. government.

Catch up quick: Since launching in 2019, GambetDC has underperformed revenue projections, a rarity among places that legalized sports betting.

  • Frank Suarez, the head of the D.C. Lottery, had said in January that the city was exploring bringing on a "bigger brand" to replace GambetDC.

Flashback: Getting rid of GambetDC hasn't been easy. D.C. stuck with the app for years until it appeared obvious that it wasn't winning over the public.

  • Intralot had soured on the small local firm in charge of the app, but couldn't remove them from the contract.
  • Intralot has paid the owner of Veterans Services Corp. (VSC) at least $1.4 million annually for the app, a salary that fed behind-the-scenes tension. The head of VSC is Emmanuel Bailey, a Maryland businessman who has been a lottery subcontractor for over a decade.
  • D.C. rebuffed demands from Intralot to shrink the role of VSC inside the $215 million contract, as Axios uncovered last year. The contract is set to expire in July.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that FanDuel will pay a $5 million fee to the D.C. government, not to the city's gambling contractor.

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