OLG seeks 2 year extension for Intralot deal

FanDuel likely to gain two-year lead over competitors in Washington DC sports betting market

Reading time 1:51 min

Washington DC's Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) is seeking a two-year extension for its current deal with lottery and sports betting operator Intralot, as revealed during a budget meeting on 10 April.

FanDuel was recently approved by the OLG as a subcontractor of Intralot, the Greek gaming solutions supplier that previously powered GambetDC, enabling its entry into the D.C. market. The approval makes FanDuel the exclusive provider of regulated sports betting in Washington DC and paved the way for this week's launch.

The extension request, if approved, could potentially give FanDuel a two-year advantage in digital sports betting within the District. This move comes as the OLG seeks more time for the issuance of a request for proposal (RFP) for either a new vendor or multiple vendors.

OLG has now officially announced the launch of FanDuel's sports betting app and website as the exclusive provider of regulated sports betting in the District of Columbia. This move comes as part of FanDuel's takeover of GambetDC, marking a significant development in the district's gambling landscape.

User criticism over GambetDC’s complexity and poor performance prompted the OLG to select FanDuel as its exclusive operator. In preparation for the transition, GambetDC ceased accepting wagers on its mobile app and website on April 15. Users are advised to withdraw their funds by October 15, 2024. The transition will extend to retail locations through a phased approach by the end of 2024.

During discussions with the DC Council’s Committee on Business and Economic Development, lottery chief Frank Suarez highlighted the importance of the extension period for the RFP process, which typically takes about a year. This process involves drafting the request, evaluating bids, and awarding contracts.

Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie has proposed a bill to create a competitive marketplace in DC, in contrast to the current single-operator model. The bill, labeled 25-0753, is scheduled for consideration at the upcoming Business and Economic Development meeting on May 6th, although no action has been taken on it thus far.

Under the current regulation, the OLG is limited to contracting only with Intralot as the sole wagering platform available throughout the city. However, McDuffie's bill aims to change this by allowing multiple platforms to operate across DC.

While the two-year extension would enable Intralot to continue its lottery and wagering contracts, the OLG may opt to split the contracts afterward, giving rise to potential opportunities for other operators.

However, the lack of an open process for selecting operators, similar to the Intralot no-bid sports betting contract, has drawn criticism from industry stakeholders. Operators such as BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook, already offering wagering in DC at their partner venues, stand to expand their offerings citywide pending changes in geofencing regulations.

Additionally, other operators like DraftKings, ESPN Bet, and Fanatics Sportsbook have expressed interest in entering the market, leveraging their proximity in neighboring Maryland and Virginia.

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