A council meeting in Washington DC has branded Gambet as a “failed operation” after the sports betting monopoly has failed to bring in its projected revenue.
At a meeting on July 13, DC council chairperson Kenyan McDuffie said that Gambet’s issues were present from the time of launch.
“Since its launch in 2020, DC’s sports wagering program has experienced repeated operational challenges,” said McDuffie. “The challenges directly contributed to delays in getting retail locations up and running, as well as the inability to generate a robust customer base for the district’s mobile app, Gambet DC.”
“Above all, the district has not nearly witnessed the revenue originally forecasted by the office of the chief financial officer.”
McDuffie added that at the time of enactment, the office of the chief financial officer projected an estimated $92m in revenue for 2019 to 2022.
When asked how much Gambet DC is set to generate by the end of this year, Frank Suarez, executive director of the DC Office of Lottery and Gaming said that the original fiscal statement read that the total net revenue for 2022 would be $29.7m. This would be 4.9% higher than in 2021 and 14% higher than in 2020.
In its first year, the sports wagering contract earned $0 for the district. In its second year, the district earned $352,000, while in its third year, it lost $4m.
Council member Mary Cheh said she had been opposed to the exclusivity aspect of the contract since its inception in 2019.
“I opposed this contract from the beginning,” said Cheh. “I said back in 2019 that awarding a contract for exclusive control over mobile sports betting was problematic.”
“There’s no reason for us to be pouring taxpayer dollars into this failed operation.”
Meeting attendees had the opportunity to submit statements for the record until July 15 at 5pm.
Gambet was first launched by the state lottery in 2020. It had been developed in conjunction with Intralot.
Prior to this, mobile app developer Dylan Carragher had challenged the District after it had decided to extend its existing contract with Intralot without offering a bidding process. A request to block the extension was denied and the process to launch Gambet continued.