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Bettor’s Kiosk Wagers Lead To Changes In D.C. Sports Betting

Limits Announced As NFL Season Kicks Off


Sports Betting KioskA tiny sushi restaurant in Washington D.C. proved to be quite a home field advantage for one sports bettor over the last year. The savvy 27-year-old former data scientist took advantage of the city’s sports betting system to place large bets via kiosk, collecting plenty of cash along the way.

According to the Washington Post, the bettor learned that the city’s official betting platform, GambetDC, often set betting lines that could significantly differ from those at other national sportsbooks. Additionally, other operators could cut a player’s allowed wagering amount if that player won too much.

However, GambleDC’s kiosks allowed players to bet without inputting any account information. This data analyst/bettor could then place those larger wagers – totaling more than $1 million over time – eventually leading the entire operation to limit wagers on the platform.

“Emergency action is necessary to promote the immediate preservation of the health, safety, and welfare of District residents,” the D.C. Lottery, which regulates gaming in the city, announced in June. “In order to curb excessive wagering and ensure responsible play at retail locations, the office may place limits on a person’s sports wagering activities.”

Limiting Bets

As the NFL season now gets underway, that meant regulators would be placing new limits on betting including no more than $1,000 wagers at kiosks. Bettors found to be violating these limits could even be placed on the city’s involuntary exclusion list.

The D.C. Lottery also announced that anyone believed to be engaged in “excessive wagering” could see their betting activities limited. As the Post noted, the aforementioned sushi restaurant bettor profited more than $100,000, making regulators alter the betting habits of the entire customer base.

“The office shall not pay winnings to a person if it is determined by the office that the person violated the wagering limits imposed by the office and all such winnings shall be forfeited,” D.C. Lottery announced.

A Troubled Rollout

Many have criticized D.C.’s rollout of sports betting since launching in 2020. The city has only one operator, unlike most other states, and the betting limit ordeal has apparently added fuel to critics’ fire.

Some may be wondering if the new regulations are really meant to encourage responsible gaming or simply to protect the platform.

“The rule change could further weaken the city’s sports gambling operation, with some retail partners concerned about the implications for their businesses,” the Post reported.

“And the episode provides a window into problems that have plagued Washington’s operation since its launch, according to observers of the D.C. betting scene: unsatisfied customers, unhappy partners in the restaurant business, uninspiring returns for the District government, perplexing decisions and a minimal response to public health concerns.”

*Photo credit DC Lottery