Looking for the best DC sports betting experience? You’ve come to the right place. Here you can find out everything there is to know about wagering in the district. Whether you’re looking for a huge welcome bonus, great features, a high quality streaming service, an immersive in-play betting experience or just an overall fantastic sports betting platform, you can find everything you need here.
There are only a handful of sportsbooks that are licensed in Washington DC. Luckily for residents in the capital, these sportsbooks are notorious for being some of the best sports betting platforms in the entire country.
DC Sports Betting Sites, Apps & Promos
We’ve got you covered with the greatest sports betting sites DC has to offer.
Find the best sports betting apps in the capital and start wagering on the go.
Check out all of the sports betting promos available in DC and get up to $2,250.
Is Sports Betting Legal in DC?
Yes, sports betting has been legal in the district since 2019. In May 2020, the DC lottery launched the first sportsbook in the area. However, due to a poorly designed platform and uncompetitive odds, residents in the capital have flocked to the likes of BETMGM and Caesars Sportsbook instead.
Washington DC has significantly more restrictions when it comes to betting than other states where the activity is legal. The biggest hurdle for bettors is the fact that only five online sportsbooks will ever be granted licenses. This means users won’t have the variety and depth of potential bets, odds and promos that many other states enjoy.
In order to place online bets, users must be 18 or older. Some retail sportsbooks require entrants to be 21 or older to enter their premises.
Can I Bet on College Sports?
Yes, you can bet on college sports. However, you aren’t allowed to bet on college teams that are native to the district. This means you won’t be able to bet on teams such as: the Georgetown Hoyas, George Washington Colonials, American Eagles and Howard Bisons.
Can I Bet on Horse Racing?
No, you can’t. There are no options to bet on horse racing in the capital. There are no advance deposit wagering platforms or off-track betting facilities available. Even sportsbooks that strictly deal with just horse racing haven’t yet been eligible to offer their services here.
Can I Bet on Politics?
Ironically no, you can’t bet on politics in Washington DC. This isn’t because the district is the political hub of America and it also isn’t specific to just the capital. All 50 states prohibit betting on elections due to federal law.
Best DC Sportsbooks – June 2023
Up to $1,000 in Bonus Bets
Competitive Odds on All Sports
BETMGM – The most recent online sportsbook to have launched in DC, BETMGM has provided a great platform for bettors in the district. With much better odds and features than their rivals, they’ve been able to secure a significant share of the market, for good reason.
Up to $1,250 in Bet Credits
NFL Streaming Available
Caesars Sportsbook – Not only does Caesars have the most generous welcome offer available, they’re also the only online sportsbook in all of DC to allow bettors to stream NFL games. They also host a fantastic reward program that users can earn credits for, win or lose.
Sports Betting News in DC
April 13th 2023 – The owner of NFL DC team the Washington Commanders agreed to sell the team for $6 billion.
April 1st 2023 – None of the $600,000 that was allocated to fund responsible gambling measures in DC courtesy of sports betting taxes has been spent yet.
March 1st 2023 – The total sports handle in DC during February was 20% lower than January.
February 1st 2023 – BETMGM & Caesars Sportsbook took $12.2 million in bets during January.
January 20th 2023 – The Washington Commanders launch the first ever retail sportsbook in an NFL stadium at FedExField, after partnering with Fanatics Sportsbook.
December 27th 2022 – The Cloakroom is approved for a DC sports betting license and goes on to be the first strip club sportsbook in the US.
October 24th 2022 – DC Council Member and previous Washington City Paper employee Elissa Silverman proposed a bill that would allow sports betting apps to operate in the entire district. Currently sportsbooks other than GambetDC can only offer their apps within a two block radius of the venues where they operate.
Pros & Cons of DC Sports Betting
There are a number of both pros and cons when it comes to sports betting in the capital.
- Two of the very best sportsbooks in the entire country have launched in DC.
- The legal age to partake in sports betting in DC is 18. This is much less than surrounding states that require users to be 21.
- Since it became legal, sports betting has brought in over $17 million worth of taxes to the district that are being allocated to the DC budget that will help fund community incentives.
- Online betting at non-distritct run sportsbooks is only allowed in five areas in DC.
- There’s a small amount of sportsbooks that are running in the district, compared to surrounding states.
- Only 5 sportsbook licenses can ever be granted, meaning only there are only 2 spots left to be filled.
Where Can I Bet on Sports in DC?
Washington DC is unique when it comes to where residents can partake in sports betting. Users who wish to wager on sporting events, will have to be in one of the five entertainment gambling zones in the district in order to do so. Each zone covers a two block radius from the phsyical location of a gambling entity such as a sportsbook.
The five entertainment gambling zones in DC cover the following locations.
Capital One Arena – Home of the Capitals and Wizards, this arena has a Caesars Sportsbook retail venue inside its grouds. You can bet in person here by using either one of the many self service kiosks or at a betting window with a staff member. The arena became the first US pro sports arena in the country to host a sportsbook when it launched back in 2021. You will also be able to wager outside of the arena online by using a sports betting site or mobile app. As long as you are within two blocks of the arena you will be able to place bets online.
Nationals Park – This is where the MLB team Washington Nationals call home. There is a BETMGM retail sportsbook venue in this stadium. They also offer a superb online platform that bettors can use within a few blocks of Nationals Park. It consistently gets high ratings on review sites and is believed to be the best online sportsbook experience in the country.
Audi Field – MLS team DC United play their home games here. FanDuel has a retail sportsbook within the stadium where bettors can go to wager on a wide range of sporting events that are happening all over the world. The next online sports betting platform to launch is most likely going to be FanDuel as they are already partially licensed in DC.
Shared Zone – There is a small zone that lay inside of both the Nationals Park and Audi Field radius. This is known as the shared zone. Even though technically there are three zones in the surrounding area, it is usually classed as one big location where bettors can wager on their favorite sports.
Entertainment and Sports Arena – This arena is slightly further out from the main part of DC. Either way, it’s still accessible and within reach of most residents that live in the district. This arena is the home of WNBA Washington Mystics. While there is no actual retail sportsbook in this location, anyone in this region can wager online.
How Much Money is Wagered in DC?
In Q1 of 2023 (January, February & March), DC saw more than $52 million in sports handle. This is the total value of all of the bets placed at sportsbooks in DC. The revenue that sports betting platforms received in Q1 was $5.9 million. This is what operators are left with after paying out winnings to customers. Effectively, this means that a total of $1.6 million will be paid to the government as a result of sports betting taxes from the first 3 months of this year.
The numbers above are a small drop in the ocean compared to the numbers for all of the states in America during that same period. Washington DC only accounted for 0.17% of the $30 billion sports handle and 0.22% of the $2.6 billion revenue that sportsbooks across the country received during the first quarter of 2023. This makes sense considering that DC is not only one of the smallest jurisdictions in the US, but there are only five small areas in the district where it’s even possible to wager on sports.
Online Sportsbooks Launching Soon in DC
Three out of a total of five online sportsbooks have already launched. This means that only two more brands can ever get an online sports betting license with the district. So far, only one of these final two spots looks to be set. The brands that are launching their online platform soon are:
Factors to Consider When Choosing a DC Sportsbook
Here are some of the most important aspects to look over when you’re choosing which sportsbooks you want to use in Washington DC.
- User Experience – Do current DC users who’ve reviewed the platform talk about the company in a positive light and overall enjoyed their time?
- History – Is it a new sportsbook in DC or has it been around for several years?
- Other States – What’s their reputation like in other states?
- Best Features – What do they do well? Do they have any unique selling points or exclusive features that other brands don’t offer?
- Security – Have there ever been any security mishaps?
- Customer Support – Do they offer round the clock support for DC users?
- Betting Odds – How do their odds compare to rivals?
- Bonuses & Promotions – Are they providing competitive promos?
- Withdrawal Speed – Will you get your money quickly?
- Available Markets – How many sports are you able to bet on?
Popular Teams to Bet on in DC
Washington Wizards (NBA) – Unfortunately, the Wizards didn’t make it to this years playoffs. However, they are still loved throughout the entire district. These NBA underdogs will be highly bet on in the capital and surrounding states, when the regular season returns in October.
Washington Commanders (NFL) – The Commanders may play their home games at FedEx Field in Maryland, but they’re still from Washington. Granted, after recent seasons, they might not be viewed in the same light they once were by NFL fans in DC. In April of this year, owner Dan Snyder agreed to an inital offer of $6 billion. The deal could potentially be completed before the start of the season in September.
Washington Capitals (NHL) – The Capitals were on top of the world just five short years ago when they hoisted up their first ever Stanley Cup and gave DC their first major sports championship in 26 years. Since then, they became the second NHL team ever to win four consecutive division titles twice in their history. They might not have returned to the Stanley Cup Finals, but they’re a fan favorite in the capital and are bet on heavily when they play.
Washington Nationals (MLB) – From zero to heroes and then back to zero. After winning the World Series for the first time ever in 2019, the Nationals will be looking to improve from last year’s terrible performance. They had more losses than anyone else in the entire MLB in 2022 with a whopping 107. Although they’re not destined for the playoffs anytime soon, DC residents will be able to bet on their games throughout the season as they look to claw their way back to the top ranks of baseball.
DC Sports Betting Taxes
You will have to pay taxes on all gambling winnings in the capital. The DC Office of Lottery and Gaming states that all winnings that exceed $600 are reported to the District Office of Tax and Revenue in accordance with regulations.
These gains are taxed as regular income would be. Here are the 7 different brackets you could be apart of when it comes to DC income tax.
|Income Per Year||Taxes Due|
|$0 – $10,000||4%|
|$10,000 – $40,000||$400 plus 6%|
|$40,000 – $60,000||$2,200 plus 6.5%|
|$60,000 – $250,000||$3,500 plus 8.5%|
|$250,000 – $500,000||$19,650 plus 9.25%|
|$500,000 – $1,000,000||$42,775 plus 9.75%|
|$1,000,000+||$91,525 + 10.75%|
DC Sports Betting Payment Methods
Every sportsbook is different when it comes to what payment methods you’re allowed to use for both depositing and withdrawing money between yourself and the platform. Here’s the most widely accepted payment methods for online sportsbooks in Washington DC:
- Debit Cards – Visa and Mastercard let you quickly deposit funds.
- PayPal – A virtual wallet for money management and transferring funds.
- Skrill – Another virtual wallet that allows you to complete online payments.
- Online Banking – Most common method used for withdrawing funds.
- eChecks – Electronic checks have much faster processing times than their physical counterpart.
Timeline of Sports Betting in DC
Here is a full run down of all the key events relating to sports betting in DC over the last 6 years.
After the Supreme Court allows states and other jurisdictions to individually decide whether they should or shouldn’t allow sports betting, the SWLA Act of 2018 is presented to the DC City Council. The aim of this bill is to legalize online and retail sports betting in the capital.
After the mayor approves the bill, it is then passed through congress in order to become legal. In May, one year on from the Supreme Court’s decision, sports betting is legalized in DC. The race is now on to see which sportsbook will launch first in the district.
The first sportsbook in DC launches in May when GambetDC receives a license to operate as a sports betting platform. The sportsbook is run by the DC Lottery. Two months later in July, Caesars Sportsbook launches a retail venue in the Capital One Arena. They then launch their online operations in December in the form of a site and mobile app.
The third sportsbook in DC launches as BETMGM obtains a sports betting license. Both themselves and Caesars far surpass the DC lottery run sportsbook due to having much better odds, promos, live wagering options and a much smoother experience thanks to their fantastic layouts on both their sites and apps.
No new sportsbooks launched in DC during 2022. However, even with only 3 online sports betting platforms DC was able to bring in more than $158 million in sports handle. During a DC Council meeting, there was a debate about what sports betting will look like in the capital moving forward. Some members floated the idea that all online sportsbooks should be accessible across the entire district, not just entertainment gambling zones.
As of this year, GambetDC is still the only online sportsbook that can be accessed anywhere in DC. The total sports betting handle in the district decreased by $6 million in the first three months of the year, compared to the same period in 2022. Some bettors are feeling frustrated with no new changes to the DC sports betting scene in 2 years and they want new sportsbooks to open and also be usable anywhere in the capital.
How DC Sports Betting Compares to Maryland & Virginia
The biggest difference between sports betting in DC and sports betting in states such as Maryland and Virginia is the number of sportsbooks available. In the capital there are only two major sportsbooks along with a state run sportsbook. This is an incredibly low number compared to surrounding states that have between 9-16 sports betting operators each.
Maryland Sports Betting
Maryland is an incredibly diverse state when it comes to wagering. Not only do they have 9 sportsbooks, they also have 6 casinos and several horse racing tracks. This means residents can participate in more than just sports betting if their heart desires. The number of sports betting facilities in the state may not grow as quick as once thought, after the introduction of Bill SB621 which if passed, would require sportsbooks to go through independent audits and more regulatory assessements.
Nevertheless, there are still plenty of opportunities for more to launch in the state thanks to the law stating that a total of 60 online sportsbook licenses can be granted in Maryland. Also, winnings from gambling are classed as income and therefore all amounts are subject to income tax. This usually falls between 4.75% and 5.25% for the majority of residents.
Virginia Sports Betting
Virginia is unique in the fact that there isn’t a single professional sports teams within its state border. However, this hasn’t stopped the Old Dominion from attracting an incredible group of 16 sportsbooks to operate within state lines. This means residents can access some of the best wagering experiences in the entire country due to the depth of talent in this regard.
Gambling in the state is subject to tax. This also falls into the income tax category. The highest bracket requires a relatively small threshold. This means that if the annual income of bettors in Virginia is over $17,000 they will need to pay the highest tax rate of 5.75% on all of the winnings they receive from wagering on sporting events.
Washington DC may not host a grand selection of sports betting opportunities compared to other states such as Maryland and Virginia. However, it still hosts a great line up of sportsbooks that can be used by both residents and non-residents inside district lines.
As time goes on, bettors in DC can hope that the law will change, so even more online sports betting platforms can launch in the capital in order to bring better odds and competition.
DC Sports Betting FAQs
Yes, it’s legal. Bill B22-0944 passed through the DC Council in May 2019 to allow sports betting in the district.
BETMGM, Caesars Sportsbook and GambetDC are the only three online sportsbooks currently operational in Washington DC.
Yes, DFS is legal and available on platforms such as DraftKings and FanDuel.
Each sportsbooks has it’s own pros and cons. Check out our reviews of sportsbooks that are operational in DC here.
No, online casinos are currently illegal in the capital.
You can’t bet on DC college teams, horse racing, politics, esports and entertainment events as of now.
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