Welcome to your ultimate guide for Washington, D.C. sports betting! Are you eager to get in on the action but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll explore all things sports betting in the District of Columbia, including the legal landscape, top sportsbooks, latest developments, and much more. By the time we’re finished, you’ll be ready to join the exciting world of D.C. sports betting and start placing your wagers with confidence. Now, let’s dive right in!
Is Sports Betting Legal in Washington DC?
The United States Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018, removing a 25-year federal ban on sports betting across the country. Eight months later, in January 2019, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed Bill 22-944 (the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018), legalizing both online and retail sports betting in the nation’s capital and giving the DC Lottery the authority to oversee and regulate the market.
Sports betting options in Washington, D.C. can be broken down into four distinct categories:
- Retail Sportsbooks (Class A): Four of Washington, D.C.’s major sports venues (Audi Field, Capital One Arena, St. Elizabeth’s East Entertainment and Sports Arena, and Nationals Park) are eligible for Class A operator licenses, which allow them to offer sports betting on the premises.
- Retail Sportsbooks (Class B): Other businesses in the district (bars, restaurants, etc.) are eligible to apply for Class B operator licenses, which allow them to offer retail sports betting on the premises of their establishment.
- Online/Mobile Sportsbooks: District-wide mobile wagering is only available through GambetDC, the DC Lottery’s sportsbook app and a government-run entity. Class A license holders are also eligible to offer mobile betting apps by working with third-party operators, but wagers can only be placed when located within a two-block radius of the sports venue in areas known as Entertainment Sports Gambling Restriction Zones.
- GambetDC Retail Locations: GambetDC offers self-service sports betting kiosks at retail locations (bars, restaurants, stores, etc.) all over Washington, D.C. Customers can place bets with cash and redeem their winning tickets at any of the GambetDC retailers in the city.
Washington DC Sports Betting Rules & Regulations
The Washington, D.C. sports betting laws are unlike those of any other state or jurisdiction across the country. A general summary of the sports betting rules and regulations currently in place in the nation’s capital is provided below.
- Sports betting in Washington, D.C. is available to anyone who is 18 years or older.
- The Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) regulates all mobile sports betting in Washington, D.C.
- Washington, D.C. bettors can place wagers on both professional and college sporting events, with the only exception being matchups taking place inside the city or involving schools that are based in the city (e.g., Georgetown University).
- Wagers on high school sports, esports, political elections, or entertainment award ceremonies are also off-limits.
- Bets can be placed online with GambetDC from anywhere in the District of Columbia. The only exceptions are the area defined under the Shipstead-Luce Act that includes the monumental core of the District (along the Potomac waterfront and Rock Creek Park) as well as anywhere within a two-block radius of Audi Field, Capital One Arena, Nationals Park, or St. Elizabeth’s East Entertainment Sports Arena.
- BetMGM and Caesars have each partnered with a Class A license holder and are currently authorized to offer mobile betting within a two-block radius of their sports venue. BetMGM is partnered with the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, and Caesars is partnered with Monumental Sports and Entertainment at Capital One Arena.
- Retail sports betting in Washington, D.C. is currently allowed to take place at the following venues with Class A licenses: Nationals Park (BetMGM), Capital One Arena (Caesars), and Audi Field (FanDuel).
- In-person wagering is also available at the following venues with Class B licenses: The Cloakroom (Over Under Sportsbook Rooftop Lounge) and Grand Central Restaurant, Bar, and Sportsbook (Grand Central Sportsbook). In addition, wagers can be placed via self-service kiosks at GambetDC retail locations all over the city.
What Are the Best Washington DC Sportsbooks & Betting Sites?
There are currently three mobile sportsbooks available to sports bettors in Washington, DC: BetMGM, Caesars, and GamebetDC. Further information about each option is provided below!
- Available States: AZ, CO, DC, IN, IA, IL, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, MS, NV, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, VA, WA, WV, & WY.
- Best Feature: Frequent Promotions & Bonuses
- Full Review: BetMGM Sportsbook Review
BetMGM Sportsbook launched its mobile sports betting app in the nation’s capital on June 10, 2021 through a partnership with the MLB’s Washington Nationals. Users can register for an account, verify their identity, and make their first deposit from anywhere in Washington, D.C. Wagers can then be placed through BetMGM once they are located within a two-block radius of Nationals Park.
Washington, D.C. residents and visitors will get to enjoy BetMGM’s user-friendly app, frequent promotions and bonus opportunities, a variety of payment options, and excellent customer service. BetMGM Sportsbook also offers users access to MGM Rewards, which provides a wide range of prizes and benefits to reward bettors for their dedication to the platform.
- Available States: AZ, CO, DC, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, NV, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, & WY.
- Best Feature: Top-Tier Customer Rewards Program
- Full Review: Caesars Sportsbook Review
Caesars Sportsbook went live in Washington, D.C. in August 2022, migrating from its former Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill platform to offer more betting markets, faster payouts, and a cleaner interface. Caesars is partnered with the NHL’s Washington Capitals and offers mobile betting to anyone within a two-block radius of Capital One Arena.
Users can take advantage of the platform’s generous welcome offer to all new customers as well as daily odds boosts on matchups in a wide range of sports and leagues. In addition, Caesars Sportsbook has one of the best customer loyalty programs in the industry. Caesars Rewards offers prizes ranging from bonus bets to luxurious hotel stays to reward you for your loyalty and enhance your overall betting experience.
- Available States: Washington, D.C.
- Best Feature: Offers Mobile Betting From Anywhere in D.C.
GamebetDC is a government-run entity powered by the DC Lottery and the only D.C. sportsbook able to offer district-wide mobile betting. The platform has received mixed reviews over the years, as many users have complained about the app being unreliable and not very user-friendly. In addition, GamebetDC offers below-average odds, taking a much bigger house edge than other operators in the city, and rarely provides bonuses or promotions to existing users.
Ultimately, GamebetDC is similar to other state-run sportsbooks, such as Sports Bet Montana or Sportsbook Rhode Island. They leave much to be desired but are not highly motivated to make improvements since they have a monopoly on the market or have been given a huge advantage over their competitors.
How Can I Bet on Sports in Washington DC?
Washington, D.C. sports bettors have plenty of different ways to get in on the action. Here are a few of the different opportunities currently available in the nation’s capital:
As previously mentioned, there are three mobile betting platforms available in the District of Columbia: BetMGM, Caesars, and GamebetDC. BetMGM and Caesars are the city’s top two sportsbooks, but their customers are currently only allowed to place bets from within a two-block radius of their stadium partner in areas known as Entertainment Sports Gambling Restriction Zones. Meanwhile, GamebetDC is the inferior platform but allows for district-wide mobile betting.
In addition, retail sportsbooks are currently offered at five Washington, D.C. locations: Capital One Arena, Nationals Park, Audi Field, The Cloakroom, and Grand Central Bar and Sportsbook. GamebetDC also allows in-person wagering via self-service sports betting kiosks located at restaurants, bars, and various retail locations all over the city.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Like many other states and jurisdictions across the United States, Washington D.C. permits daily fantasy sports (DFS) to exist in a legal gray area, as there are no laws explicitly allowing or prohibiting DFS platforms. As a result, D.C. residents can sign up and enter paid contests with DraftKings, FanDuel, Underdog Fantasy, and many popular DFS sites and apps to compete for their share of enormous prize pools.
Unfortunately, betting on horse racing is off-limits in Washington, D.C. There are no active horse racing tracks or simulcast facilities that offer in-person wagering options. In addition, popular horse racing betting sites (such as FanDuel Racing, TwinSpires, or AmWager) are not authorized to operate in the nation’s capital.
Offshore sportsbooks, online casino betting sites that operate outside Washington, D.C.’s jurisdiction, are a risky choice for the city’s sports bettors. These platforms lack local oversight and consumer protections, potentially exposing users to unfair practices and payment risks. Engaging with offshore sportsbooks may lead to legal violations and no recourse in case of disputes. As a result, we highly recommend you stick with the sportsbooks currently licensed to operate in the city of Washington, D.C.
Visit Neighboring States
Lastly, D.C. sports bettors can visit neighboring states to join in on all the excitement and explore their online and retail sportsbooks. Maryland has offered statewide mobile betting since November 2022, and many of the top U.S. sportsbooks (BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel, etc.) are available in the Old Line State. Additionally, Virginia legalized sports betting in April 2020 and currently has 15 online sportsbooks as well as a single retail betting location in Portsmouth.
Where Can I Bet on Sports in Washington DC?
There are currently five retail sportsbooks operating in Washington, D.C., with several more likely to launch in the upcoming years. Here are your current options:
- Retail Sportsbook: BetMGM Sportsbook at Nationals Park
- Address: 1500 S Capitol St SE, Washington, DC 20003
- Launch Date: January 2022
BetMGM Sportsbook at Nationals Park opened on January 31, 2022, becoming the first retail sportsbook connected to an MLB ballpark. The site offers a 4,000-square-foot bar, six betting windows, 17 self-service betting kiosks, and much more. Visitors will get to watch their bets play out on wall-to-wall screens while enjoying daily Happy Hours at BetMGM Sportsbook. In addition, complimentary parking is offered on non-event days at Nationals Park to all bettors.
Capital One Arena
- Retail Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena
- Address: 601 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004
- Launch Date: May 2021
Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena launched in May 2021, making history as the first retail sportsbook inside a U.S. professional sports facility. The 18,000-square-foot establishment offers 20 sports betting kiosks and now includes Guy Fieri’s D.C. Kitchen + Bar, where visitors will be able to order food and drinks from an extensive dining menu while cheering on their favorite players and teams.
- Retail Sportsbook: FanDuel Sportsbook at Audi Field
- Address: 100 Potomac Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024
- Launch Date: July 2022
FanDuel Sportsbook at Audi Field became the first retail sportsbook at an MLS stadium when it opened its doors in July 2022. The sportsbook is located just inside Gate A on the north side of the stadium, and visitors will be able to place wagers on a wide range of sports and leagues at any of the three betting windows or nearly two dozen self-service kiosks. Once they place their wagers, bettors can sit back, relax, and watch the game of their choice on any of the site’s 48+ TV screens.
Grand Central Restaurant, Bar, and Sportsbook
- Retail Sportsbook: Grand Central Sportsbook
- Address: 2447 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
- Launch Date: October 2021
Grand Central Sportsbook accepted its first wager on October 4, 2021 and became the first Class B license holder to offer sports betting in the nation’s capital after partnering with Elys Game Technology. The full-service sportsbook offers a multitude of wagering options from both kiosks and window service, and it is conveniently located in the heart of DC’s Adams Morgan District.
- Retail Sportsbook: Over Under Sportsbook Rooftop Lounge
- Address: 476 K St NW, Washington, DC 20001
- Launch Date: January 2023
The Over Under Sportsbook Rooftop Lounge is considered the first establishment of its kind, as the establishment is located directly above The Cloakroom, the most acclaimed gentleman’s club in the district. The rooftop sportsbook features wall-to-wall screens, self-service betting kiosks, and a huge cocktail bar.
With its vibrant atmosphere and state-of-the-art amenities, the Over Under Sportsbook Rooftop Lounge guarantees an unforgettable sports viewing and betting experience for patrons seeking both excitement and luxury.
How To Sign Up & Start Betting in Washington DC
Time needed: 5 minutes
Are you ready to start betting on all your favorite sports and leagues? Just follow the steps listed below!
- Choose Your Sportsbook
Pick one of the following Washington, D.C. sportsbooks: BetMGM, Caesars, or GamebetDC. Visit their website or download their mobile app to get started.
- Register for an Account
Begin the sign-up process. Enter all requested information, choose a username and password, and agree to the Terms & Conditions to finish registering for an account. This step can be completed from your home or anywhere with an internet connection.
- Verify Your Information
Complete the account verification process by following the on-screen instructions provided by your sportsbook. You will need to confirm your age and identity by providing a form of photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
- Make Your First Deposit
Choose any of the payment options accepted by your sportsbook (e.g., online bank transfer, digital wallet, or debit/credit card) to make your first deposit and add funds to your online betting account.
- Claim Your Welcome Offer
Many sportsbooks offer welcome bonuses or promotions to new users. Check for any available offers and review the terms and conditions associated with them. These offers may include deposit matches, bonus bets, or first-bet insurance. To claim the welcome offer, follow the instructions provided by the sportsbook.
- Start Placing Bets
Begin placing wagers on all your favorite players and teams. You can bet from anywhere in Washington, D.C. via GamebetDC. In addition, you may place bets with BetMGM when you are located within a two-block radius of Nationals Park or with Caesars when you are located within a two-block radius of Capital One Arena. Good luck!
What Teams Can I Bet on in Washington DC?
Sports culture in Washington DC is deeply ingrained in the city’s identity, fostering a sense of pride and passion among its residents. The city embraces a diverse range of sports, from football and basketball to baseball and hockey, creating a vibrant and energetic atmosphere for sports enthusiasts. A few of the most popular teams in Washington, D.C. are discussed below.
The Washington Commanders have captured the hearts of Washington, D.C. sports enthusiasts, who passionately support their hometown football team. With a rich history and a legacy deeply intertwined with the city, the Commanders’ games at FedExField draw enthusiastic crowds, fostering an electric atmosphere that showcases the unwavering dedication and love of the local fanbase.
The NBA’s Washington Wizards hold a special place in the hearts of basketball enthusiasts in the nation’s capital. With their exciting style of play and a roster of talented players, the Wizards consistently captivate fans with thrilling games at the Capital One Arena, drawing a fervent crowd that embraces the team through both victories and challenges.
The Washington Nationals have become an integral part of Washington, D.C.’s sports fabric, uniting fans from all walks of life. The Nationals’ success, including their memorable World Series win in 2019, has sparked a sense of pride and excitement throughout the city, with fans eagerly filling Nationals Park to witness the team’s remarkable performances on the diamond.
The Washington Capitals enjoy a dedicated and passionate fan base that has stood by the team through ups and downs. With their exhilarating brand of hockey and a roster of talented players, the Capitals have fostered a strong bond with Washington, D.C. fans who proudly display their support, creating an electric atmosphere at the Capital One Arena during home games.
The Georgetown Hoyas are the athletic teams representing Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. They compete in the NCAA’s Division I as part of the Big East Conference. The Hoyas have a storied basketball program, with a rich history that includes five Final Four appearances and a national championship in 1984. Their games are held at the Capital One Arena, where fans gather to support the team and experience the excitement of college basketball.
Strategies & Tips for Washington DC Sports Bettors
While there is no foolproof method to guarantee big winnings in the world of sports betting, there are plenty of guidelines to follow and strategies to implement to increase your chances of long-term success. Here are a few of the best tips and tricks for Washington, D.C. sports bettors:
- Understand Different Betting Markets: Familiarize yourself with the different types of bets available, such as moneyline, point spread, totals, and props. Understand how each bet works and choose the ones that align with your betting strategy and knowledge.
- Practice Proper Bankroll Management: Set a budget for your sports betting activities and stick to it. Avoid chasing losses by betting more than you can afford. Proper bankroll management ensures longevity in the betting game and minimizes the risk of significant financial losses.
- Take Advantage of Bonuses & Promotions: Many sportsbooks offer promotions, bonuses, and free bets. Take advantage of these offers to maximize your potential returns. However, always read and understand the terms and conditions associated with these promotions.
- Practice Disciplined Betting: Avoid impulsive and emotional betting decisions. Stick to your pre-determined strategies and avoid chasing losses. Maintain discipline and make well-thought-out bets based on your research and analysis.
- Track Your Bets: Maintain a record of your bets, including the type of bet, amount wagered, odds, and outcomes. This will help you analyze your performance, identify trends, and make adjustments to your strategies if needed.
- Continue To Learn & Adapt: Sports betting is an evolving landscape. Stay curious and be open to learning new strategies, techniques, and insights. Adapt your approach as you gain experience and incorporate new information into your betting strategies.
Washington DC Sports Betting FAQ
Yes! Online sports betting has been legal and available in Washington, D.C. since May 2020.
There are currently three mobile sportsbooks available in Washington, D.C.: BetMGM, Caesars, and GamebetDC. Each option is very reliable and has its own distinct advantages.
Yes! Washington, D.C. bettors can place wagers on college sporting events, as long as they do not take place in the District of Columbia or involve a DC school (e.g., Georgetown University).
Yes! DraftKings, FanDuel, Underdog Fantasy, and plenty of other popular DFS sites and apps allow participants from Washington, D.C. However, there is no specific law that allows or prohibits these types of platforms in the nation’s capital.
Sports betting in Washington, D.C. is only available to individuals who are 18 years or older.