William Hill Sportsbook Opens In DC’s Capital One Arena

William Hill Sportsbook Opens In DC’s Capital One Arena
© USA Today

The first sportsbook at a professional sports venue in the U.S. has opened.

The William Hill sportsbook at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. — home to the NBA’s Wizards, WNBA's Mystics and NHL’s Capitals — opened Friday at 4 p.m. in a temporary location at the arena. It is in the arena’s ticket box office area, which is unused right now without Caps or Wizards games, according to The Washington Post.

The William Hill sportsbook will give D.C. bettors another option besides the much-maligned GambetDC from the D.C. Lottery.

“We’ve come up with this temporary location as a way to allow our customers to bet on sports now that they are resuming, while we continue to work towards finalizing the permanent sports book, restaurant and bar concept we have always visualized,” said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US.

The Wizards, Mystics and Capitals are playing the rest of their games this season in bubble cities.

In the temporary space, the first sportsbook in the Capital district, bettors can place cash bets through seven ticket windows and there will be 10 electronic kiosks. The sportsbook will be open daily from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. Officials hope to have the permanent sportsbook completed in the fall.

The permanent sportsbook will be in the space the Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille used to occupy, the story in The Post said. When the Capital One-William Hill deal was announced in October 2019, officials said it would be a two-floor sportsbook with betting windows and mobile app betting accessibility.

There will be a ceremonial bets placed Monday by season ticket holders from the Washington Capitals, Mystics (defending WNBA champions) and Wizards.

William Hill Already NHL & NBA Partner

William Hill became an official sports betting partner of the NHL in March 2019 and a sportsbook partner of the NBA in October 2019.

When the Eldorado Resorts-Caesars Entertainment merger was completed in July, William Hill, which was the sportsbook operator for Eldorado, took over Caesars’ sportsbooks. William Hill now has more than 165 sportsbooks in the U.S.

“Bringing fresh and innovative experiences to fans is core to our mission at Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and we are so proud to partner with William Hill to bring this new dimension to the Washington Metropolitan region,” said Jim Van Stone, president of business operations and chief commercial officer for Monumental Sports, which owns the arena, the Caps and the Wizards. “William Hill is a globally-recognized brand in delivering excellence and is an industry leader in safe, responsible gaming while maintaining the highest levels of integrity. Those qualities are consistent with our own values, and we look forward to inspiring even more visitors to our arena, where we take deep pride in fostering a sense of community.”

A Long Road To DC Sports Betting

Sports betting was legalized in the district in December 2018, but it has been a long road for fans to finally be able to place sports bets. The D.C. Lottery originally hoped to have its sports betting platform available in time for the 2019 NFL season, but lawsuits and other controversy pushed the launch back several times.

The GambetDC sports betting platform was further delayed by the coronavirus before finally launching on May 28. Odds from the D.C. Lottery’s operator, Intralot, have drawn criticism on social media. Having Intralot as its single-vendor, lottery-led option will only bring more scrutiny to the D.C. Lottery, as it has in other states.

But with Friday’s opening of the sportsbook at Capital One Arena and with the D.C. sports-betting law allowing for other pro teams in the district to have sportsbooks, there will be more, and likely better, options for bettors in the district.

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