Washington DC's legal sports betting is off to a rocky start
Washington, DC, is just one of many places that have recently introduced sports betting. However, it has had some troubles in its launch.

DC passed legislation some time ago but has met several barriers on their way to a functioning platform. They recently had a “soft launch” with a lack of sports currently happening.

GamBetDC is available via a web browser and started accepting bets last month. But bettors have not been happy with the lines.

A sportsbook makes money by balancing the risk in a way that they always profit. To do that, they take money on every bet known as “vig or juice.”

Sports Illustrated describes the term:

“Vigorish: Another term for juice. Standard vigorish pricing is (-110), and bettors need to wager $110 to earn a $100 return.”

But the odds on GamBetDC do not favor the bettor, at all. Their odds don’t match up to other sportsbooks across the country. They are making it even that more difficult for fans to make any money on their wages.

Frankie Taddeo of SI describes the questionable lines:

“GambetDC demanding (-118/-118) and (-111/-125) on spread lines equates to a juice of 8.16% – 8.26%, translating to as much as 3.5% more than the normal vig at (-110) lines. Instead of a break-even point of 52.38%, a number sharps often struggle to beat, at GambetDC, it’s an absurd 54.13%.”

Betting experts always discuss the benefits of shopping around for the best prices on placing bets. Right now, GamBetDC is far from achieving that.

There are expectations that sportsbooks operated by William Hill and Caesars Entertainment are coming to brick-and-mortar Washington DC sports arenas. However, GamBetDC is the only mobile online that is available in the area.

For the Week 1 NFL matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins, these sportsbooks have a different line than GamBetDC. The vig on William Hill is only at 4.83%. This is around par for the industry.

GamBetDC has the same game on its site with a vig of 7.99%, much higher than other sportsbooks. These differentials can add up for bettors, especially those who bet a lot on the platform over time.

Other Issues

Along with the lines being a bit expensive for their customers, the platform had some other issues in their soft launch.

To use the platform, the site’s geolocation services must pinpoint the person within the limits of Washington, DC. But players have been reporting issues that the site isn’t accurately locating them inside the city’s limits.

GeoComply is the company that provides the location services for the site. They tweeted out areas that are prohibited for people to bet from. They also added that it might not allow those close to those areas to place bets.

Hopefully, this soft launch has brought attention to some issues that need to be addressed before sports are back 100%. These technical issues, as well as the pricy vig, need to be changed for a successful sports betting future in the nation’s capital.