Washington D.C. Online Sports Betting Sites

Washington, D.C – the capital of the United States. A district full of politicians, lawyers, and lobbyists gambling on their political futures. However, where does the District stand on actual forms of gambling? Within the last couple of years, the District as legalized Washington D.C. sports betting sites. Three have already entered the area, with a fourth on the horizon.

It is important to remember that Washington, D.C. is not a state – as a district, it operates under different sets of laws than many of the traditional states. It is also a very small geographic region of the country, with the majority of its population commuting from other surrounding states. This, without question, has impacted the District’s position on gambling as a whole over the years.

Sports Betting in D.C.

Let’s start with the topic that has seen the most movement in the last couple of years. Residents of Washington, D.C. had a ringside seat for the final round of the battle between the state of New Jersey and the professional sports leagues in the U.S.

The Supreme Court heard the final arguments from both sides, deliberated and ultimately changed the shape of the gaming industry altogether by ruling to repeal PASPA in May 2018. This allowed any state to be able to draft sports betting legislation and to finally be able to offer legal sports betting to its constituents.

The District of Columbia decided to get into the act soon after the Supreme Court decision and became one of the first states to approve sports betting. This was an amendment to the Lottery Act for D.C. and would make the Lottery the group overseeing sports betting in the district.

In 2019, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed off on a bill in January legalizing sports gambling. However, because of the unique government structure of the District, the bill needed to gain approval from the US Congress to become law. Sports betting became legal in the capital in May of 2019, however no sportsbook of any kind opened until May of 2020.

Washington D.C. Sports Betting Sites

It’s confusing, let’s break it down more in depth.

DC Sports Gambling Law
According to district law, GambetDC is the only online sports betting site that allows users to bet from anywhere in the District. Anyone 18 years or older can bet from anywhere within the Washington D.C. by using GambetDC.

The other two online sportsbooks in the District are Caesar’s and BetMGM. Although these are two of the biggest names in the industry, they are restricted to specific zones within the district because of D.C. law. Their apps are only available online if users are in one of two places.

Caesar’s in DC

Caesar’s by William Hill has partnered with Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals. If you are in the vicinity of the arena, you are welcome to use your Caesar’s Sportbooks app. Users may also use the app if they are at Caesar’s retail location.

BetMGM in DC

BetMGM operates the same way as Caesar’s within the District of Columbia. However, they have partnered within a different professional team. BetMGM partnered with Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals, to allow users to access their app while in close proximity to the baseball stadium. Users can also use the app while on-site at BetMGM’s retail location.

FanDuel Coming Soon

FanDuel Sportsbook announced a partnership with Audi Field, home of the MLS squad, D.C. United. FanDuel has an application with the D.C. Lottery currently pending to become the 4th Washington D.C. sports betting site. However, they would be restricted to operate the same way as the other two industry giants. Users would only be allowed to use the app while at the retail location, or while within the vicinity of Audi Field.

Since Nationals Park and Audi Field are very close to each other, there is an area between the stadiums where users would be allowed to use either BetMGM or FanDuel, along with GambetDC as an online sports betting site. This will only happen when FanDuel launches in the District.

For now, the maximum number of Washington D.C. sports betting sites that can be accessed at once is two.

Sports Betting Restrictions in D.C.

Washington D.C. sports betting sites do not have any unusual restrictions. Users must be 18 to place a sports betting wager, whether it be online or in-person. Sports betting is prohibited on colleges that are located within the city limits of D.C, and on collegiate events happening within the District.

Sorry, Georgetown fans. If you want to place a bet on your Hoyas, you’ll have to drive to Virginia or Maryland to do so.

There are also rules in place for events where the majority of participants are under the age of 18, such as the Olympics.

Daily Fantasy Sports

DFS and other types of games are available in Washington D.C. However, there is no explicit law that permits or bans these types of contests. For now, there does not seem to be much interest in ruling on these types of activities.

Horse Betting in D.C.

There are no horse tracks in Washington; however the closest track is only 40 minutes outside the city. This gives horse betting fans one of their only legal options for betting on the ponies. All land-based OTB betting shops are also illegal in D.C., although with the sports betting expansion, it is always possible that this will change in the future.

Online Horse Betting

In some states where there is no land-based pari-mutuel wagering, companies like Twinspires have been able to use their Oregon license to allow bettors the opportunity to bet on their favorite horses or tracks.

However, online horse betting is explicitly against the law in D.C., so these online pari-mutuel companies block users from the region. A crafty gambler could drive across the border to Maryland and make wagers from there on these sites.

Casino Gambling in D.C.

As with most forms of gambling, casinos are prohibited in D.C., aside from charity-type events that exist all over the district. While there are casinos in neighboring states, with the closest being 90 mins drive away, it is more of an excursion than many players are interested in taking. There is no discussion that we know of regarding the addition of a land-based casino inside the D.C. borders.

Online Casinos in D.C.

Even though the sports betting bill passed in 2019, there has been no mention of adding online casino or poker into the mix. This is shocking given the amount of lobbying from residents to legalize these types of games.

However so is the amount of money that Sheldon Adelson has spent in D.C. pushing to prohibit online gambling. With the change to sports betting law and the repeal of PASPA, the needle is definitely moving in the right direction. Online casino games may be available soon to residents.

For now, anyone who is hoping to play some slots on their phones is relegated to playing at offshore-based casinos. This is not something that we recommend despite the number of daily players from the U.S.

Washington D.C. Sports Betting Sites FAQs

Is sports betting legal in D.C.?
Yes, sports betting is legal in D.C. There are three retail locations, as well as three online sports betting sites. However, there are unique restrictions regarding where users can access their online sportsbooks.
How many sportsbooks are available in the District?
There are currently three online sportsbooks available in D.C, GambetDC, Caesar’s and BetMGM. GambetDC is available anywhere, but the other two are only available when users are near their partnered stadium. For Caesar’s that is Capital One Arena. For BetMGM, it’s Nationals Park. FanDuel is rumored to join the fun, operating within close proximity of Audi Field.
What is the best online sportsbook for residents of D.C.?
While they are only available in certain areas of the District, we recommend both Caesar’s and BetMGM for users of D.C.