Intralot Pays DC Lottery $500,000 For GambetDC’s Super Bowl Mishap
The DC Lottery received $500,000 in compensation from Intralot for its mobile app’s Super Bowl outage, according to a top official.
The news comes weeks after GambetDC – the only sportsbook available throughout the District of Columbia – malfunctioned on Super Bowl Sunday, the year’s single-biggest day for sports betting.
The embarrassing technical mishap incurred revenue losses and further dented the already deteriorating reputation of Intralot’s app.
GambetDC launched Super Bowl Sunday with a dark screen and a pop-up that read ‘error’ on the DC bettors’ apple devices.
The DC bettors with iOS apps were left with two options for Super Bowl betting – BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook. But any sports bettor in DC who wants to place a mobile bet on BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook must be physically present within a two-block radius of their respective sports franchise partners.
Last week, Lottery Executive Director Frank Suarez said that the payment was received at the end of March.
Intralot Pays a Day’s Losses, But…
The payment from Intralot covers the day’s total of potential bets lost on Super Bowl Sunday ($65,000), in addition to a free-bet promo aimed at soothing frustrated users ($6,300), and marketing costs ($428,700) to help repair lost reputation.
But Suarez, who shared the news at a DC Council meeting last week, said it couldn’t measure reputational damage. He said that it’s not easy for them to put a value to or measure, wondering how much they believed they might have lost in player registrations and the lifetime value of that.
As of February, there were nearly 30,000 registered users in February – half of them were Apple users.
What Led to Mishap?
GambetDC’s Android app and PC worked during Super Bowl Sunday, but the Apple software malfunctioned a few hours before the launch and didn’t come back online that whole day.
The mishap originated from Intralot’s failure to obtain an SSL certification approval from Apple company on time. The software update mishap caused Apple to suspend Gambet ahead of the Super Bowl, leaving Apple users unable to use the app to place a wager during the game.
However, Android and PC users were still able to place bets on the Super Bowl Sunday.
Intralot and the DC lottery negotiated compensation for the mishap, and after a few weeks’ discussion, they came to terms on an agreement.
Suarez, who assumed the lottery’s top job, said they were “very satisfied with the end result.”
What’s the Future of GameBetDC?
The District seems to go ahead with Intralot, at least for now. The Greek lottery operator that has run the DC Lottery and its only city-wide mobile sportsbook – GambetDC – has been subject to scrutiny since its launch in May 2020, or even before.
In 2019, Intralot won a controversial $215 million contract from the DC Council. Since its launch, GambetDC received largely negative reviews from users, both over its interface and lower payouts than the national operators like BetMGM and DraftKings.
The lottery app has also failed to meet revenue expectations over the years. In March, Suarez told the council that GambetDC is likely to generate $1.5 million in taxes for the city this year. It is 10% of what lawmakers were promised when they were discussing the sole-source contract for Intralot back in 2019.
The dismal performance of the app, including its interface flaws and shrinking revenues, may allow council members to steer itself away from Intralot and its GambetDC. It would be exciting news for DC bettors who usually prefer using the retail locations at Capital One Arena (Caesars) and Nationals Park (BetMGM).