The DC Lottery has announced its sports betting app, GambetDC, ran at a $4m deficit in 2021, while 2022 revenue projections have been ‘overinflated’.
Launched in 2020, GambetDC is the only product of its kind in the city but it is only expected to bring in around $1.5m in revenue in 2022, a more than tenfold decrease from the $20m officials previously projected in February 2021.
Frank Suarez, Director of DC Lottery, commented: “The prior estimates were set with very limited data. Now that we are further into legalisation, you can look and see that for the district to get anywhere close to what the original [estimate was] we would have to multiply our population by ten times when you look at any jurisdiction making those numbers.
“That’s why you’re seeing such a big difference with our new estimates, because they are grounded in the learning we have and what we’re seeing across the country.”
The news has led to renewed calls for private sports betting apps like DraftKings and FanDuel to operate in DC, with councilmember Kenyan McDuffie leading the questioning on March 3.
Lottery officials attributed the app’s deficit to marketing costs, and this concession has come amidst the technical error for Apple users that kept the app offline during February’s Super Bowl.
As of last month, GambetDC had 30,000 registered users, more than 50% of which use Apple devices.
Suarez labelled the Super Bowl mishap a “colossal error” and admits the underperforming app can hugely increase its user experience, with interface updates scheduled in time for the summer.
On the other hand, privately operated retail sportsbooks are expected to overperform on initial revenue estimates, ensuring a bigger cut of taxes to their respective jurisdictions.
Suarez has also outlined plans to aggressively market the app to retrieve users and increase the payout for winning bets, in order to compete with private sportsbooks.