FanDuel set to take over as sports betting provider in Washington DC

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Sports bettors in Washington D.C. will now have access to FanDuel’s sportsbook.

The Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) in the district announced that FanDuel is the new sports wagering subcontractor of Intralot, Inc, OLG’s lottery and sports wagering system vendor.

The news follows ongoing arguments between the OLG and the D.C. City Council over the poor performance of Intralot and its GambetDC sportsbook.

During a January meeting between the Lottery and Council, D.C. Council Committee on Business and Economic Development (CBED) Chair Kenyan McDuffie summed up the DC sports betting situation.

“I’ve heard from many residents about their unease with the district’s woeful performance on sports betting. And I absolutely share those same sentiments, from issues around usability, customer service, and seriously declining revenue. We know the current model simply is not working,” he said.

In the same meeting OLG chairman Frank Suarez suggested that Intralot was intending to bring in a subcontractor, which is where FanDuel comes in.

Bettors in the District of Columbia will soon be able to place bets on FanDuel’s sports wagering app as well as use its website and retail platforms.

“FanDuel’s industry-leading offering will ensure that the District maximizes tax revenue under its existing contracts this year while delivering a best-in-class experience for 18+ residents,” said Suarez.

According to the DC Lottery, the new partnership will bring immediate financial benefit to the district as Intralot will be required to pay an initial $5 million fee within the current fiscal year.

Furthermore, Intralot will also assume OLG’s current operating costs associated with sports wagering which will help increase the revenue from sports wagering that will go to the district’s general fund, allowing the funding of critical programs.

The FanDuel platform is set to be available to residents and visitors within Washington D.C. starting this spring and GambetDC’s in-store gaming kiosks will also be replaced by FanDuel’s on a phased basis.

Tensions rise over Intralot’s continued poor performance

Washington D.C. is an unusual model as the lottery is solely in charge of offering online betting, which it has done through Intralot and GambetDC.

However many people within the district are unhappy with the performance of Intralot and its GambetDC Sportsbook.  In the meeting it was criticized for offering bad pricing and -120 lines to bettors, who Suarez admitted the lottery believed would be casual and not worry about what the payout was.

Intralot’s contract with the lottery is set to end in July 2024 and Suarez was questioned in January’s meeting about why the OLG is persisting with Intralot given that the sports betting market will now be run by a subcontractor which would leave “not much” for Intralot to do. 

Suarez explained that the process of opening the contract for new proposals could take a year whereas allowing Intralot to subcontract would mean that the change could be implemented before March Madness, which starts on March 17.