DC Council Approves FY2025 Budget, Opens Up Digital Sports Betting Market To More Than Just FanDuel

Erik Gibbs

fanduel logo building

The DC Council gave final approval on Tuesday to its FY2025 budget, including a measure that will mark a significant shift in the landscape of sports betting within the district.

The budget, which includes a provision to open up the digital sports betting market to multiple operators, received final approval through an emergency act, bypassing the need to send the budget to Congress for approval. The Budget Support Act was passed via a voice vote and is set to take effect on July 15.

Currently, FanDuel, following D.C.’s failed attempt at controlling sports betting through the GambetDC app, is the sole platform available for citywide digital betting in the district. However, the new budget’s provisions will end this exclusivity, allowing other commercial operators to enter the market. This change is expected to introduce more competition and potentially enhance the betting experience for users within the district.

FanDuel not happy

FanDuel’s current monopoly has come at a cost. It pays 40% in taxes for its exclusive rights. However, under the new budget, this rate will be halved to 20%. This will create a more attractive environment for other companies to establish their presence in D.C.’s market, but it hasn’t pleased FanDuel.

The reduced tax rate for new operators could incentivize more companies to enter the market, which in turn could lead to increased tax revenues for the city, even at the lower rate.

FanDuel has threatened to pull out of the D.C. market altogether if it loses its monopoly.

The company’s decision could shape the future of D.C.’s sports betting landscape. If it chooses to exit, it could create an initial vacuum for other operators to fill. However, FanDuel’s established brand recognition and customer base could be a significant advantage if it decides to stay and compete in the open market.

Quick expansion possible

Two prominent names that are expected to join the digital space quickly in D.C. are BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook. Both companies already operate retail sportsbooks in D.C., with BetMGM situated at Nationals Park and Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena.

Given that they already hold licenses for sports betting in the district, their entry into the digital market appears imminent.

The DC Council’s decision to pass the FY2025 budget via an emergency act highlights the urgency and importance of these changes. By avoiding the lengthy process of congressional approval, the council ensured that the new measures would be implemented swiftly, signaling a strong commitment to evolving the sports betting landscape in D.C.

If more companies enter D.C.’s sports betting market, the competitive environment could benefit consumers through better odds, promotions, and user experiences — as are available to those in neighboring Maryland and Virginia.