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D.C. sports betting app now functional after Super Bowl outage, officials say


A day after a rash of Apple iOS users reported they were unable to access D.C.’s official sports betting app ahead of — and throughout — the Super Bowl, a spokesperson said Monday that the service was now working and that the D.C. gaming office was assessing the financial loss.

The app, GambetDC, showed error messages to an unknown number of iOS users Sunday. In response to complaints posted online, GambetDC said in a tweet that the iOS app was unavailable because of a technical issue. They noted that hopeful bettors could still use the Android app or place bets through GambetDC’s website or in person at 39 retail locations.

In a later tweet, GambetDC said it would offer users a $10 in-game bet for the inconvenience.

The issue marks the latest issue for the troubled sports betting app, which has been the subject of frequent criticism after D.C.’s chief financial officer asked the D.C. Council to approve a no-bid contract to start city-operated sports betting in 2019. The app rolled out in 2020 and was met with disapproval by residents over poor odds and technical issues.

Revenue, meanwhile, has been abysmal compared with projections.

Officials forecast that the app and website would net tens of millions in revenue for the District. But it made only $230,000 in the first eight months of fiscal 2021, lottery official Craig Lindsey said last year.

D.C.'s sports betting app keeps underperforming, with lots of finger-pointing about what’s to blame

In the wake of technical issues Sunday, D.C. Council member Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) tweeted: “When 5 [D.C. Council] members including myself voted against this contract, we knew it was bad but even I didn’t foresee it being this abysmal.”

In a statement Monday, Nicole Jordan of the Office of Lottery and Gaming said the problems occurred because the “app provider did not obtain approval from Apple for a required update,” resulting in the app’s temporary removal from the Apple iOS platform.

“OLG is reviewing the impact of Sunday’s outage on sales,” the statement said.

Asked about GambetDC’s issues Monday, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said she would seek answers from the office of the city’s chief financial officer, which manages the contract.

“I expect to get that explanation,” Bowser said. “Obviously, if we’re going to have any system in the government, including for sports betting … it should work. It should especially work on the biggest sports day of the year.”

Des Bieler contributed to this report.