Despite having gone live with a soft launch late May after a series of delays, the DC Lottery’s Gambet DC sports betting network has now been set back further after the announcement that its retail sites will not be completely operational until 2021.
Initially reported by the Washington Business Journal, news of the further delay of the platform was announced at a budget oversight hearing by DC Lottery Executive Director Beth Bresnahan, who cited the COVID-19 outbreak as the cause of the rescheduling of the launch.
The Report cited Bresnahan as saying: “Rollout of the retail network component of GambetDC, which was initially slated for this fall, has been pushed to summer of 2021. The pandemic has presented physical, operational and some personal challenges upon the lottery and upon our small business retailer partners across the city.”
The platform was originally expected to launch during the kickoff of the 2019 NFL season. But a lawsuit relating to the bidding process saw it delayed until March which, in turn, was further pushed back as a result of COVID-19 outbreak in the US.
Despite its eagerly anticipated launch in May, the operator came under fire for a host of reasons including a further delay to its mobile sports betting apps and location tracking systems as well as a selection of its offs which were scrutinised within the industry.
DC is not the only state currently in the process of launching a sportsbook, as it is being followed by its neighbouring states of Maryland and Virginia which may join the 2021 launch date lottery.
Virginia has legalised sports betting, and it will be voted on as part of a referendum in Maryland later this year. Given DC ‘s history of delays, however, it is not unreasonable to predict that both states could roll out a full sports betting start before Gambet DC’s.