DC Online Sports Betting & Gambling Guide

As much as Washington, DC, online gambling is making some progress, like many things in the District, the situation is unique. DC online sports betting is available to Washington, DC, bettors, but not like it is in any other state with legal online sportsbooks.

Sports bettors over 21 and physically located in Washington, DC can now legally place an online sports bet. However, you can only bet online anywhere in the District using the GambetDC app, which is run by the DC Lottery.

There are a few other legal forms of online gambling, but DC lawmakers have not legalized online casinos or online poker. No talks of doing so have reached the news cycles either.

Legal Online Betting Options In Washington, DC

Type of GamblingLegal?More Information
Online Sports BettingYesOnline sports betting is legal through the app and website GambetDC, which is run by the DC Lottery.
Daily Fantasy SportsYesDaily Fantasy Sports is legally allowed in DC and offered by top companies like DraftKings and FanDuel.
Sweepstakes CasinosYesYou can legally win cash prizes at the sweepstakes casinos Chumba, LuckyLand, and more.
Sweepstakes Poker SitesYesGlobal Poker is a sweepstakes site where you can play poker online against thousands of other players for cash prizes.
Online Horse RacingNoBetting on the horses online is illegal in DC.
Online CasinoNo Real-money online casinos are illegal in Washington, DC.
Online PokerNo You cannot legally play real-money online poker in Washington, DC.
Online LotteryNoBuying DC Lottery tickets is not available online.

Online Sports Betting In Washington, DC

As the most popular form of online betting in the country, thousands of Washington, DC residents and regular visitors will be happy to know online sports betting is legal.

You can legally bet on sports online anywhere in the District using the state-run GambetDC app and website. Alternatively, you can bet in person at an approved retailer, and some can take mobile bets if you’re within a certain range of a select few sports arenas.

However, as Erika Gonzalez pointed out for News4, GambetDC’s lines are not nearly as profitable as standard lines. Where you might see betting odds set a -110 at William Hill, GambetDC lists a -115. That seemingly small difference can make a huge difference on season-long net winnings.

The Washington, DC sports betting laws separate licenses into Class A and Class B. The Class A license allows retailers to take sports bets through an app within two blocks of the business.

For example, the William Hill Sportsbook at Capital One Arena will take bets inside as well as around the arena.

Class B, however, requires that you bet within the business. A few DC bars are set to become Class B sportsbooks, including Duffy’s, Wet Dog, and The Brig.

Online sports betting is also legal in Virginia and is expected to launch in early 2021.

What Can You Bet On In DC?

In Washington, DC, you can bet on professional and college level sports in the US and overseas. Here are the types of bets you can legally place:

  • Straight Bet
  • Points Spread
  • Over/Under (Totals)
  • Futures
  • Props
  • Parlays
  • In-Game/Live Betting

DC area colleges are fair game for betting. In some states, you can’t bet on in-state colleges, but that’s not the case in the District.

See GambetDC In Action

More Legal Online Gambling Options In DC

Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is another massively popular sports betting option that’s not illegal in DC. What we mean is that there’s no law against DFS, and the major platforms are readily available to folks in the District.

DFS platforms, particularly DraftKings and FanDuel, have successfully argued in many jurisdictions that they’re skill-based, putting them in a different category outside of “gambling.” That means it’s legal almost everywhere in the US, and folks 18 and up can legally play.

Sweepstakes Casinos

A sweepstakes casino is where you can play online casino games using the site’s currency. However, you can redeem Sweeps Coins directly for cash prizes. Because of that, it’s actually quite similar to a traditional online casino.

The two biggest platforms are Chumba Casino and LuckyLand. These sweepstakes sites give you free Sweeps Coins just for signing up. And if you can win at least 50 Sweeps Coins at LuckyLand or 100 Sweeps Coins at Chumba, you can redeem for a cash prize that’s sent directly to your e-wallet.

You can also redeem for gift cards, which require fewer Sweeps Coins than cash prizes. However, usually you still need at least 25 or 50 won Sweeps Coins to redeem for any prize at either site.

The casino games at Chumba and LuckyLand include:

  • Classic Slots
  • 3D Slots
  • Progressive Jackpot Slots
  • Blackjack (Chumba Only)
  • Video Poker (Chumba Only)
  • American Roulette (Chumba Only)
  • Online Scratch-Offs (LuckyLand Only)

Because you receive free Sweeps Coins just for joining, it’s worth giving these sites a try if you like casino gaming.

Sweepstakes Poker Sites

The sweepstakes poker site Global Poker is legally accessible to folks in Washington, DC. You must be at least 18 years old to play.

Global Poker utilizes the same currency model as Chumba Casino, its sister company. If you win enough Sweeps Coins, they can be coin-for-dollar redeemed for a cash prize.

Global Poker is also set up the same way as the major online casino sites. You can choose whether you want to play Texas Hold’em, Omaha, or Crazy Pineapple. You can filter by budget and buy-in. And you can play ring games, sit ‘n’ go, or multi-table tournaments.

Further, Global Poker recently added a few casino games, including slots, a couple of quality forms of online blackjack, and casino poker.

Online Horse Racing

Washington, DC does not have any tracks or off-track betting (OTB) facilities. As if that weren’t enough, they also have strict and specific laws that make horse racing all but illegal.

Instead of simply taking bets, horse racing bookmakers need to base payouts by a pool of players. That would require a hyper-specific platform just for DC players, and that’s almost certainly never going to happen.

No legal online horse racing app or website accepts players from DC, including BetAmerica, TVG, and TwinSpires.

Online Casino

The only way for online casino players to win cash prizes legally in DC, they need to play at the sweepstakes casinos. There are no legally available DC online casinos. If a traditional online casino is offering their services to you despite your DC location, it is an illegal site. We do not recommend joining an offshore casino, so proceed at your own risk.

Online Poker

The biggest and best online poker sites in the US are not legal in DC. You can’t play at PokerStars or WSOP.com. However, you can take the drive to Baltimore for card rooms, some of which have satellite tournaments for the WSOP.

To win cash prizes playing poker online in DC, you can legally do so at Global Poker, the sweepstakes poker site.

Online Lottery

The DC Lottery does not offer online ticket sales. To play the DC Lottery, you’ll need to visit a local retailer. However, the the DC Lottery website is where you can participate in different promotions, including prize drawings and second-chance entries.

The DC Lottery website also offers a location finder to help you quickly locate the nearest retailer. You can also check winning numbers and learn more about the different games available. You can still use our lottery numbers generator to help pick numbers for the lottery in DC.

How To Deposit At Washington, DC’s Online Sportsbook

As the only online sportsbook to cover the entire District of Columbia, the GambetDC app’s accepted payment methods are the only way to deposit online most of the time.

To deposit, you first need to register for an account. You do not need to be a DC resident to register, but you do need to be at least 21 years old. Your information also has to match your SSN, so make sure you don’t use nicknames or an initial for a last name.

Once you have an account, you can make a deposit at GambetDC using the following methods:

  • Credit Card
  • Debit Card
  • ACH/Online Bank Transfer
  • Skrill

Skrill is an e-wallet that’s similar to PayPal. Note that uploading to your Skrill account using a credit card will count as a cash advance, while depositing directly with a credit card on GambetDC is considered a regular transaction. To load your Skrill account, we recommend debit card or bank transfer.

DC Online Gambling: How We Got Here

In 2018, local lawmakers in Washington, DC passed the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act, which authorized legal sports betting.

Then the passage of Bill 23-0025, or the Sports Wagering Procurement Practices Reform Exemption Act of 2019, officially legalized online sports betting in the District.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the launch of DC online sports betting. Rather than launch in April or May of 2020, the DC Lottery launched their sports betting app GambetDC in June 2020.

The Office of Lottery and Gaming not only regulates sports betting, they also run the only district-wide online sportsbook.

In August 2020, William Hill and Capital One Arena announced a partnership. Bettors can wager in-person inside the stadium as well as from their phones within two blocks during game days.

Once the William Hill sportsbook officially opens at the stadium, you’ll be able to visit outside of when a Washington team plays and bet on any sport worldwide.

Other sports betting outlets will include some of the best known sports bars in Washington, DC, but you’ll need to bet in person and in cash. These too will offer wagers on all sports, not just during Washington games.

What About In-Person Gambling In DC?

Does Washington, DC Have Casinos?

No, there are no casinos within the District.

Washington, DC’s only legal betting outlets will be sports betting retailers and the GambetDC sports betting app.

People who enjoy casino games and poker can travel to Maryland to partake in-person. The closest casino to DC is the MGM National Harbor, which is a 15-minute drive from the National Mall. Bettors in DC will be happy to know that that’s closer than most major cities can say.

Quick Facts About DC Gambling

Is Lottery Legal in DC?Yes, DC has its own lottery, and you can also play multi-state pool lotteries such as Mega Millions and Powerball.
Does Washington, DC have casinos?No, not technically. There are several casinos within a close drive from DC, but they are located in Maryland.
Does the District of Columbia have racetracks?No, there are no racetracks in DC.
Where else can you gamble in Washington DC?You can only gamble at approve sportsbooks and online sports betting apps and sites.
Minimum gambling age21
Who regulates gambling? The Office of Lottery and Gaming 

Washington DC Lottery

The DC Lottery offers several types of games unique to the District. You can also play Mega Millions and Powerball.

One of the most notable is the DC-2 through DC-5. For as little as $0.50, you can pick just two numbers to win up to $50. The more you wager, the higher the potential prize. And the more numbers, the bigger payout potential. The DC-5 pays out as much as $50,000 twice per day.

If you play the lottery regularly, we highly recommend joining the DC Lottery website. Create an account to keep track of your tickets, participate in second chance drawings, and take advantage of a range of promotions.

You can also set your notification settings to alert you when they release new games. This is especially useful for those who like to play a variety of scratch-offs.

Learn More About Gambling In The District Of Columbia

If you’re interested in further reading, we recommend the following links:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About DC Gambling

What is the gambling age requirement in Washington, DC?

21. You need to be  21 years or older to bet at a Washington, DC sportsbook. If you bet at Capital Arena or any other sports complex, you’ll be asked for an ID, same as if you were purchasing alcohol. However, you can play Daily Fantasy Sports if you’re 18 or older.

Is online sports betting legal in DC?

Yes. Online sports betting is legal anywhere in DC through the state-run GambetDC app and website. You can also bet online within two blocks of Class A sportsbooks such as William Hill at Capital One Arena. Otherwise, sports betting is limited to in-person bets at retailers that include a few DC sports bars.

How do I get my winnings from a DC online sportsbook?

Skrill or online bank transfer. To receive your winnings from online sports betting in the US, you’ll need to set up a Skrill e-wallet account or choose the direct bank transfer option. For the latter, you’ll just need to log in to your bank account through the ACH tool in the sportsbook app or website.

What are the gambling taxes in Washington, DC?

Net earnings from gambling is subject to income tax. That means you’ll need to pay the tax rate for federal taxes and the district taxes, which are both progressive. Gambling winnings can actually put some people into a higher tax bracket. Consult with a tax professional about tax requirements unique to your yearly winnings.

Who is the gambling regulator for DC sportsbooks?

Gambling in DC is regulated by the DC Lottery Office of Lottery and Gaming. They regulate all Class A and Class B sportsbooks both online and off.

Not only that, but the DC Lottery personally runs the only district-wide online sportsbook: GambetDC. Despite being a nonprofit government entity, they have some of the worst sports betting odds in the US.

What types of online gambling are legal in Washington, DC?

Sports betting. The only type of online gambling that’s legal in Washington, DC is sports betting. Currently, both online casinos and online poker sites are illegal within the district. There have been no notable talks among lawmakers regarding legalizing any other form of online gambling.

Who operates the online sportsbooks in DC?

The only online sportsbook that can be played anytime and anywhere in the District of Columbia is GambetDC, which is operated by the DC Lottery. However, you can also bet using the William Hill Sportsbook App within two blocks of Capital One Arena. Additional sports betting platforms may pop up in a similar capacity to William Hill in the near future.

What are the deposit and cashout options at GambetDC?

The deposit options at GambetDC are credit card, debit card, ACH (online banking), and Skrill. The cashout/withdrawal options are ACH and Skrill. When you’re ready to withdraw, you can make a request, which will be approved within a day or two. Then the funds will be transferred over. Deposits are normally instant.

Do DraftKings and FanDuel have sportsbook apps in DC?

No. The DraftKings Sportsbook and the FanDuel Sportsbook are not available in Washington, DC. However, both brands do have a Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) platform available to folks in the district. This is because DFS is not legally considered gambling in DC. The DraftKings or FanDuel sportsbooks will come to DC if they partner with an approved sports bar or sports complex.

Are online casinos in Washington, DC legit?

No. Only sweepstakes casinos are legitimate places to win cash prizes by playing online casino games in DC. If a traditional online casino is made available for betting from DC, it is an illegal and illegitimate site that can’t truly be trusted. Betting at illegal sites is a risky endeavor that we do not recommend.

About the Author

Mike Epifani

Mike Epifani (shown here at Caesar's Palace Las Vegas) is a highly experienced online gambling writer who specializes in online casinos and sports betting sites. From the nuances of bonus offers to winning strategies and beyond, his insights have helped countless remote bettors keep more of their money while having fun and staying safe.