When talking about sports betting, convenience matters most and, while there is nothing more convenient than using your phone, if you asked an Apple user during or after the Super Bowl about their opinion on the matter, chances are they would have a lot to say. Gambet, the mobile betting app run by the D.C. Lottery, was down for part of Sunday for Apple users who wanted to make Super Bowl bets. As such, Gambet likely lost out on a good chunk of revenue by not being available when it mattered most, dilly-dallying behind competitor William Hill Sportsbook.
D.C. Lottery stated that GambetDC would be available to Android users just in time to place Super Bowl bets through the website and its physical locations across Washington, D.C. However, the Apple version of the app suffered a freeze-out due to a technical glitch. The app provider did not obtain approval for an update, a spokeswoman for D.C. Lottery noted while speaking with DCist. Bettors were compensated with a free $10 bet. In other words, no one made sure the GambetDC app for Apple devices was ready for the biggest sports betting day of the year.
Headaches Continue to Amass
Since its inception, GambetDC was entrenched in controversy as it also failed to deliver on its tax-generating estimates. When compared to William Hill Sportsbook, it did not perform as well. The app drove simply $4,440 in income from May 2020 to March 2021, whereas William Hill drove $1.8 million in taxes.
That is a fact that is causing buyer’s remorse to manifest in the D.C. council members that approved of the $215 million agreement between the D.C. Lottery and Intralot. D.C. Council member Elissa Silverman went on to tweet that while five councilmembers, including herself, knew the contract was bad, they didn’t foresee it being that abysmal.
Blood in the Water and the “Sharks” Are Out
Criticism of GambetDC keeps mounting and is not being dealt with. Initially, there were reports of the app offering odds of -115 to -118, as in you could bet $115 or $118 to win $100 on games that that would typically carry odds of -110 or having to bet $110 to win $100. That, however, has not been redressed, as GambetDC listed the Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns at -115 to cover spreads in their respective games, but BetMGM offered those bets at -110.
Additionally, as if that wasn’t enough to drive people to competitors, William Hill, BetMGM and FanDuel are slated to open sportsbooks at local arenas, which will have mobile apps associated with them. GambetDC might also start losing D.C. resident business to Maryland and Virginia, homes to fast-growing open sports wagering markets dominated by commercial operators.