Washington D.C. Sports Betting

Last updated: Feb 27, 2024

Legal online and retail sports betting arrived in Washington D.C. after Congress approved the legalization in May 2019. However, the laws in the District are very different from most jurisdictions in the US. The Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) oversees all sports betting and operates its own online sportsbook, GambetDC You can use this betting site anywhere in the District of Columbia.

Commercial online sportsbooks are available in Washington D.C., but you can only use these within two blocks of a partnered retail sportsbook. These online sportsbook providers are partnered with local sports teams and have retail sportsbooks at stadiums. 

RegulatorLaunch DateTax RateRegistration
Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG)May 26, 202010%Online and retail

In addition to these retail sportsbooks, bars and restaurants are also allowed to launch sports betting through a Class B license. Also, this allows these locations to open betting kiosks, which are operated by the OLG.

Sports Betting Operators in D.C.

There are three online sportsbooks in Washington D.C., with a fourth online operator launching soon. Apart from GambetDC, every sportsbook must be partnered with a local sports team or stadium. You can only use these sportsbooks within a two-block radius of this stadium, enabling geolocation to prove you are playing in a licensed area.

Still, the sportsbooks in Washington D.C. are some of the most well-known brands in the US, including Caesars and BetMGM. FanDuel will also launch in the District of Columbia soon. Here is an overview of all the sportsbooks available in the District.

NameOperatorLaunch Date
GambetDCOLGMay 2020
Caesars SportsbookCaesars Entertainment, Inc.August 2020
BetMGMMGM Resorts InternationalMay 2021
FanDuelFlutter EntertainmentTBA

Best Sportsbook Apps and Bonuses in Washington D.C.


GambetDC is the official online sportsbook within the District of Columbia. It is operated through a partnership between the OLG and Greek online sports betting software provider Intralot. It is currently the only online sports betting D.C. app available anywhere in the District. All revenues from GambetDC are taken by the OLG and reused to improve Washington D.C. facilities and systems.

Caesars Sportsbook

Through a partnership with the NHL’s Washington Capitals and NBA’s Washington Wizards, Caesars Sportsbook launched its online platform in the District of Columbia. The online sportsbook is only available within a two-block radius of the Capital One Arena, where the Capitals and Wizards play.

You will also find the Caesars retail sportsbook at the Capital One Arena. This two-story location allows you to bet on sports, enjoy refreshments, and watch live events on massive TV screens.

BetMGM logo

Following a deal with the MLB’s Washington Nationals, BetMGM launched its online sportsbook in Washington D.C. in May 2021. However, you can only use this betting app if you are within two blocks of Nationals Park. The operator also opened a retail BetMGM sportsbook in the stadium, where you can place bets and enjoy the latest sports action with other sports fans.

BetMGM logo
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Legislation Timeline

  • May 14, 2018: The federal government overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), allowing individual states to create regulations for sports betting.
  • September 2018: D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans introduces the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018. This seeks to launch online sports betting in Washington D.C. with multiple providers. However, it is altered to ensure an OLG-backed platform will have a monopoly on D.C. online sports betting. 
  • December 18, 2018: The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 passes the D.C. Council.
  • January 23, 2019: Mayor Muriel Bowser approves the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act, sending it to Congress for approval.
  • May 3, 2019: Congress approves the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act, legalizing online and retail sports betting in the District of Columbia.
  • October 3, 2019: William Hill (now Caesars Sportsbook) agrees to partner with the Capital One Arena to create a sportsbook in the former Greene Turtle restaurant. 
  • May 29, 2020: The OLG launches its online sportsbook GambetDC, which is available anywhere in the District. The OLG announces the first sports betting D.C. online portal (GambetDC).
  • May 26, 2021: Caesars opens its retail sportsbook at Capital One Arena, becoming the first retail sportsbook in the District of Columbia. It also goes live with its online sportsbook, which you can only use within two blocks of its retail location.
  • June 2021: BetMGM goes live with its online and retail sportsbook through its partnership with Nationals Park, home of the MLB’s Washington Nationals.
  • October 5, 2021: Grand Central Restaurant launches the first Class B retail sportsbook in Washington D.C., with the brand name, ‘Grand Central Sportsbook’.
  • October 24, 2022: Councilmember Elissa Silverman forwards a bill allowing multiple sports betting apps to be available across the city and end the GambetDC monopoly. 

Sports Betting in Washington D.C.

You can use three online sportsbooks in Washington D.C. or visit a retail sportsbook. As we’ve already highlighted, the District has unique rules for sports betting, including location restrictions when using commercial sportsbooks. Check out the other regulations you’ll need to follow below.

Yes, people within Washington D.C. can bet on sports online. Currently, three online sportsbook operators are available, with two commercial sportsbooks and one lottery-operated platform. While you can use the lottery platform, GambetDC, anywhere in the District, Caesars and BetMGM are only available within two blocks of a partnered retail sportsbook.

What sports can you bet on in Washington D.C.?

All three sportsbooks in D.C. provide a wide range of sports markets, including football, basketball, baseball, and ice hockey. While this is mainly coverage of the major leagues, you will also find some international competitions, like the Canadian Football League, and other popular US sports like soccer, MMA, tennis, and NASCAR. Caesars and BetMGM also allow you to wager on niche sports like Gaelic hurling.

You can bet on college sports in Washington D.C., but not any teams based in the District. This regulation is in place to protect young athletes from the pressures of sports betting.

Who can bet on sports in D.C.?

Anyone within the borders of Washington D.C., who is over 18 can bet on sports. However, some people are prohibited, including anyone who is part of a self-exclusion program. In addition, if you have a criminal record preventing gambling, you cannot bet.

Members of professional and college sports teams, ranging from owners to players, are also not allowed to enjoy betting. If you’re employed by a league that creates rules for professional or college sports, like the NHL or NCAA, you won’t be able to create a sportsbook account. Finally, anyone employed at a retail sportsbook can’t place legal bets.

Official League Data usage in Washington D.C.

Genius Sports is partnered with many professional sports leagues in the US and provides official statistics and data to sportsbooks. Betting sites like Caesars and BetMGM partner with Genius, meaning you’ll have access to the most recent information when you wager in-play. However, GambetDC does not have an agreement with Genius Sports.

Washington D.C. Sports Betting Handle 

A sports betting handle tells you how much was spent on sports betting in a specific period. The District actually has two betting handles; one for its lottery-operated sportsbook, GambetDC, and one for commercial operators. You can find the data for both betting handles below.


May 2020$9,723
June 2020$223,730
July 2020$741,500
August 2020$2,132,032
September 2020$3,269,118
October 2020$4,177,245
November 2020$3,896,127
December 2020$4,278,714
January 2021$5,179,670
February 2021$4,158,464
March 2021$3,844,359
April 2021$2,741,912
May 2021$3,097,780
June 2021$3,440,931
July 2021$2,152,023
August 2021$1,618,545
September 2021$3,681,889
October 2021$5,547,153
November 2021$5,244,959
December 2021$4,967,239
January 2022$5,734,401
February 2022$3,912,179
March 2022$6,224,512
April 2022$5,181,360
May 2022$5,036,290
June 2022$3,768,947
July 2022$3,279,752
August 2022$3,438,929
September 2022$5,547,153
October 2022$7,528,701

Commercial Operators

July 2020$1,830
August 2020$9,130,410
September 2020$12,186,042
October 2020$14,358,602
November 2020$13,704,407
December 2020$12,418,281
January 2021$10,566,498
February 2021$11,144,615
March 2021$11,430,856
April 2021$8,005,025
May 2021$10,674,631
June 2021$16,077,477
July 2021$10,656,217
August 2021$10,826,767
September 2021$17,024,584
October 2021$20,785,075
November 2021$16,174,495
December 2021$14,252,988
January 2022$12,893,388
February 2022$15,160,677
March 2022$14,208,207
April 2022$13,198,544
May 2022$12,197,849
June 2022$9,991,807
July 2022$8,066,426
August 2022$9,708,716
September 2022$13,407,835
October 2022$17,272,799

Washington D.C. Sports Teams

Washington D.C. may be a small area, but it still has a team in each of the big four leagues. Throughout the years, the District has seen very successful franchises, with championship-winning sides in each sport. Check out an overview of the current teams in Washington D.C. below.

Washington Commanders

The Washington Commanders launched in 1937 and won the pre-merger national championship in the very same year. The team went on to claim another pre-merger title in 1942. In the Super Bowl era, the franchise had its most significant period of success in the 1980s and early 1990s, winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy three times. Joe Gibbs coached the Commanders throughout this period.

The Commanders currently play in the NFC East at FedExField in Maryland. The team has won 15 division titles and six conference championships alongside those three Super Bowl triumphs.

Washington Wizards logo
Washington Wizards

The Washington Wizards began as the Chicago Packers in 1961, one of the first expansion teams added to the NBA. However, the team went through 30 years of rebranding and relocating, changing between five different names, including the Zephyrs, Bullets, and Wizards. The franchise quickly moved from Chicago to Baltimore before settling in Washington D.C. – its current home.

The Wizards won its only NBA Championship in 1979, led by the talents of Wes Unseld. The franchise has had some of the greatest ever players on its roster, including Michael Jordan.

Washington Nationals logo
Washington Nationals

In 2002, the MLB wanted to reduce the league from 30 to 28 teams. One of the franchises selected to be removed was the Montreal Expos. However, the MLB bought the team and eventually awarded it a new place in the league, choosing to base this new franchise in the District of Columbia. The Washington Nationals launched in 2005 and have been pretty successful. The team has claimed four East Division Titles and won its first World Series in 2019.

Washington Capitals logo
Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals joined the NHL as an expansion franchise in 1974 and have been a very consistent success. The team has won 13 division titles in that time. This includes a stretch of dominance from 2007 to 2020 when the Capitals claimed ten of the 13 titles available. However, the peak for Capitals fans came in 2018, when the side claimed its first Stanley Cup.

The Capitals have also won the President’s Trophy three times and two conference championships.

Washington D.C. Sporting Events

While the major league sports teams in Washington D.C. get plenty of support, there are also loads of other sports events which get a lot of attention. Check out some of the most popular events below.

Washington Open

Held since 1969, the Washington Open is an ATP 500, and WTA 250 tennis event played at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park. While it is not a Masters Series event, the Open is a prestigious tournament where the best players on tour compete for a prize fund of over $2 million. 

The National

The National was a golf competition held at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm from 2007 to 2018. The tournament was a part of the PGA Tour and was organized by Tiger Woods. However, The National was stopped in 2018 due to a lack of sponsorship. Fans of golf hope the competition will return in the future.

In the meantime, the TPC Potomac still hosts elite competitions like the 2022 Wells Fargo Championship.


The UFC has held two events in Washington D.C., with the first coming in 2011. This was a UFC Live event held at the Verizon Center. The next time the UFC went to the District of Columbia was in 2019 when UFC on ESPN came to the Capital One Arena. Jairzinho Rozenstruik beat Alastair Overeem with a knockout punch in front of more than 10,000 fans.


Along with UFC fights, Washington D.C. has played host to some of the best boxers in history. In 2005, the Verizon Center hosted a fight between Mike Tyson and Kevin McBride, where Tyson famously gave up in between rounds while leading on two judges’ scorecards. It was one of only six losses in Tyson’s career. 

The District also hosted a WBA heavyweight title bout in 1993 as Riddick Bowe took on Jesse Ferguson. The fight was over quickly, as Bowe knocked out Ferguson in the second round. On the same night, there was also a fight for the vacant IBF middleweight championship, claimed by Roy Jones Jr.


You can bet on sports in Washington D.C. using online or retail sportsbooks. You can use the lottery-licensed Gambet D.C. anywhere in the District. However, if you want to use commercial sportsbooks like Caesars or BetMGM, you must be within two blocks of each brand’s retail sportsbook. You’ll find retail sportsbooks at sports stadiums or betting kiosks at licensed bars and restaurants.

Horse racing betting is not yet legal in Washington D.C., including online and in-person pari-mutuel betting. There are no racetracks in the District and no off-track betting locations. While lawmakers banned horse racing betting in 1908, you can still travel to neighboring Maryland or Virginia to legally place pari-mutuel horse racing bets.

Sports betting is legal in Washington D.C., including online and retail betting. However, there are no online or land-based casinos in the District, even if lawmakers did try to launch online gambling in 2011. However, you can play in charity bingo games, enjoy the lottery, and play Daily Fantasy Sports games.

No, you can’t use DraftKings Sportsbook in Washington D.C., as it is not licensed to operate within its borders. However, you can legally play DraftKings’ Daily Fantasy Sports games anywhere in the District. In addition, you can visit neighboring states where DraftKings is legal and play there, such as Maryland and Virginia.

You must be 18 or older to gamble in Washington D.C., including sports betting. Every online sportsbook will ask you to verify your age by uploading a copy of a valid photo ID. You will also be asked to produce your ID to get into retail sportsbooks.

Yes, you can play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Washington D.C. with top operators like DraftKings and FanDuel. While DFS games have not been strictly legalized, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 determined DFS a game of skill, not luck. No specific legislation deeming DFS games illegal allows these operators to provide competitions.

GambetDC is the official sportsbook of the D.C. Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG), the regulator of Washington D.C. sports betting. The sportsbook is operated through a partnership with Greek online sports betting provider Intralot. You can use the online platform anywhere in the District to bet on sports.

All sports betting is operated by the D.C. Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG). The OLG operates GambetDC, which is available anywhere in the District. It also oversees the other sportsbooks in Washington D.C., ensuring the correct geofencing regulations and customer safety measures are upheld.


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