Two weeks ago, my inner golf nerd was in full force. With the PGA Championship looming, I watched YouTube videos, read articles, and scoured tweets trying to learn as much as I could about the host golf course and potential contenders.
Some of the searches were aimed at satisfying my golf fandom and some of the searches were aimed at fulfilling the hope of cashing in a few bets and putting together a DFS golf competition (rare for me in recent months). As a work exercise, I have decided to once again give GambetDC a shot as the sports betting platform of choice as I live just minutes from Washington, DC. I wanted to compare the betting process to that of DraftKings with its mobile bookmaker available in Virginia. , a state in which I had previously lived for two years.
Using Gambet DC – a DC Lottery-run sportsbook app developed by Intralot – didn’t completely crush my enthusiasm for the golf tournament, but it clearly illustrated why some customers are complaining about the district’s sportsbook platform. The DC Lottery has promised upcoming changes to address these issues.
“We have a two-click type response that we’re trying to do,” said Nicole Jordan, director of communications for the DC Lottery. “You should only have to do two clicks to do whatever you want to do, and right now we know that’s not the case.”
The shortcomings of the GambetDC interface
I wanted to place a handful of bets on the PGA Championship, including top 20, top 10 and winner bets. Using GambetDC on my iPhone has become quite an adventure.
To bet that a golfer will finish in the top 5 of the PGA Championship, I first navigated in the “golf” section of the platform. Funnily enough, the first screen shown on my iOS app was for the “parlay of the day,” which featured NHL games that day and had absolutely nothing to do with golf.
From there, I had to click on the “futures” tab. Another click on ‘men’ gave me a range of tournaments at the men’s professional level to select from. I clicked on “USPGA Championship 2022”, which surprisingly wasn’t first on the tournament drop-down list. For some reason betting on the 2023 Masters and an upcoming Korn Ferry Tour event were among the options listed above the next major championship.
“If you’re used to DraftKings or FanDuel in other states, using this app is like stepping back in time and using MS-DOS,” a App Store Review said of GambetDC. “Nothing intuitive there. Must have been designed by college students as part of a school project.
Once I selected the correct golf tournament, I had to scroll through the “winning” odds for each player on the course before accessing other betting options. To bet on a player to finish in the top 5, I had to scroll through not only winner odds, but first round leader odds, first round top 5 odds, first round top 10 odds and several other matches. Paris. Even if you scroll quickly, it may take 15 seconds or more to reach the top 5 bets.
Complaining about a 15-second wait to make a small golf bet may entice the world’s smallest fiddler to play, but the GambetDC interface is a downside. When it comes to recreation and entertainment, I’m not a big fan of cons, and I suspect many others aren’t either.
Betting on professional golf at GambetDC certainly takes more than two clicks and includes a whole bunch of insane scrolling. This is what the upcoming interface changes are supposed to fix.
“We made this app and we listened to our customers,” Jordan said. “We know it’s not as intuitive as others would like.”
Jordan said a thorough review of major national sports betting operators helped guide an improvement in GambetDC’s functionality. The lottery is not intended to revolutionize mobile sports betting platforms, but rather to create a platform that effectively mirrors those of industry leaders like BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel.
At DraftKings, a golf bettor can browse the menus at the top showing different tabs with different types of bets. Instead of having to scroll for 15 seconds or more to bet on someone to finish in the top 20, a user can easily select the “top 20” category and find the player they wish to support with their bet.
When are the changes?
Expect GambetDC’s interface changes to arrive in the coming months and expect to see changes to the web browser, apps, and retail kiosks.
“The goal is to implement this by the football season,” Jordan said. “It will be a phased approach as we are also adding additional functionality to the platform itself, but by the football season you will be able to see significant changes in the interface.”
Expect GambetDC to add other options such as withdrawal functionality which are common on other mobile sports betting platforms. Such changes could help the lottery overcome two years of significant backlash. If they don’t, the DC Council could seek a way out of the Intralot contract, perhaps paving the way for wider access to major operators in the district.
Until then, I’ll probably go to Virginia to bet on the US Open.