Despite having gone live with a soft launch in late May following a raft of delays, the DC Lottery’s sports betting platform Gambet DC has now been set back further following the revelation that its retail sites will not be fully operational until 2021.
Originally reported by Washington Business Journal, news of the platform’s further delay was revealed at a budget oversight hearing by DC Lottery Executive Director Beth Bresnahan who cited the COVID-19 outbreak as the cause of the launch reschedule.
She was quoted by the report as saying: “Rollout of the retail network component of GambetDC, which was initially slated for this fall, has been pushed to summer of 2021. The pandemic has presented physical, operational and some personal challenges upon the lottery and upon our small business retailer partners across the city.”
The platform had originally been scheduled to launch alongside the 2019 NFL season kickoff. But a lawsuit concerning the bidding process saw it delayed until March which, in turn, was further pushed back as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 in the US.
Despite its eagerly anticipated launch in May, the operator came under fire for a host of reasons including a further delay to its mobile sports betting apps and its location tracking systems as well as a selection of its offs which were scrutinized within the industry.
DC is not the only state currently in the process of launching a sportsbook as it is being followed by its neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia who could join the lottery with a 2021 launch date.
Sports betting has been approved by Virginia and will be voted on as part of a referendum later this year in Maryland. However, given DC’s history of delays it is not unreasonable to predict that both states could roll out a full sports betting launch before that of Gambet DC.