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Five months after announcing a partnership with the Washington Nationals, BetMGM is ready to play ball in the nation’s capital.
The Entain-MGM Resorts International product announced Thursday that its mobile sports betting app was live in the District of Columbia. Per DC’s sports betting law, the app is only available for use within a two-block radius of Nationals Park.
Later this year, BetMGM plans to open a retail sportsbook connected to the ballpark.
The BetMGM mobile app will enable our fans to engage with the game in new and exciting ways, while the BetMGM sportsbook connected to Nationals Park will provide Nationals fans and the D.C. community with a first-class gathering place to celebrate their passion for sports,” Alan Gottlieb, COO of Nationals owner Lerner Sports Group, said in a statement.
Nationals Park isn’t the only MLB team with sights set on sports betting. In Illinois, the Chicago Cubs have announced a plan to have DraftKings operate a sportsbook at or near Wrigley Field. In addition, the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians, Ohio’s MLB franchises, are among the pro sports teams lobbying state lawmakers there for licenses.
BetMGM states the app is ready for use and the book’s website lists DC as a market. However, the DC Lottery, which licenses sportsbooks, has yet to update its page to show that approval.
William Hill Trouncing Gambet in DC
In the District of Columbia, sports betting is run by the DC Lottery. They have a contract with Intralot to offer online wagering across Washington through an app called GambetDC.
In addition, DC officials allow for local establishments to hold licenses. Those licenses allow for in-person and limited online sports betting. Sports arenas, like Nationals Park and Capital One Arena, are allowed to receive Type A licenses, while bars and restaurants can seek Type B licenses.
Last summer, William Hill started operating a retail sportsbook at Capital One Arena for Monumental Sports, which owns the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals. It received approval in December to offer its mobile app.
Like the Nationals-BetMGM arrangement, William Hill’s app is available for use only in a two-block radius around the arena.
Despite the marked territorial advantage that GambetDC holds over William Hill, it’s the latter that’s the big winner so far, according to lottery office records.
In April – the most recent month that records for both are available – William Hill had more betters and a far greater handle. William Hill reported 100,955 bets, compared to 87,085 for GambetDC. However, William Hill took in $8 million on those wagers, compared to $2.7 million for GambetDC.
William Hill’s gross gaming revenue of $1.6 million was about three times as much as GambetDC’s $535,772.
Besides the fact that arenas attract sports fans who are more likely to wager on events, critics of DC’s sports betting operation have noted that GambetDC’s takes more juice, or offers lines that pay less than other sportsbooks.
BetMGM Completes Presence in Metroplex
For BetMGM, getting access in the nation’s capital is the final piece to completely cover the Washington metroplex, also known as the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia).
In January, the mobile sports betting app launched in Virginia. BetMGM will also have a presence in Maryland, where voters approved sports betting last year. Officials expect it to roll out later this year.
MGM Resorts operates the MGM National Harbor Casino in Oxon Hill, located just outside DC.
“This becomes the first of many offerings we are developing to seamlessly connect sports and entertainment across the DMV, providing fans with unique opportunities to interact with our world-class resort and casino,” said MGM National Harbor President and COO Jorge Perez in a statement.
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