Image: William Hill
Betting firm William Hill WMH PLC and the owner of Washington’s basketball and hockey teams plan to open a sports-betting venue inside the district’s Capital One Arena, in what would be the first wagering establishment inside a major-league sports venue in the U.S.
The sportsbook is expected to open as soon as 2020, depending on regulatory approval. Financial terms weren’t disclosed for the deal between the American subsidiary of U.K.-based William Hill and Monumental Sports & Entertainment, owner of the NBA’s Wizards, WNBA’s Mystics and NHL’s Capitals.
A jersey presentation with Dave Johnson, Ted Leonsis and William Hill CEO Joe Asher. #Wizards #Caps #Mystics pic.twitter.com/rJsndjd7Rp
— Adam Zielonka (@Adam_Zielonka) October 3, 2019
Plans for the sportsbook—a two-floor bar and restaurant accessible from inside the arena during games and from the street even when teams aren’t playing—are the latest way the U.S. is following the lead of Europe, where wagering is embraced in stadiums and bettors make mobile wagers throughout games.
Coming soon to Capital One Arena. In the space that was the Greene Turtle. But in 2020?! I’ll have more for you today @WTOP pic.twitter.com/qysVunYSXp
— John Domen (@JDDsays) October 3, 2019
More from the Wall Street Journal can be found here.
SPORTS BETTING TIMELINE
On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to nullify the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, the federal law that prohibited sports gambling in all but a handful of areas.
On October 29th, 2018, the NHL named MGM Resorts the first official sports betting partner of the League.
In early November, 2018, the league entered into a partnership with FanDuel. The multi-year deal made FanDuel the official daily fantasy sports partner and an official sports betting partner for the professional hockey league via its FanDuel Sportsbook.
On December 18, 2018, the D.C. Council passed the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018, which Mayor Muriel Bowser signed in January. The next month, the D.C. Council gave final approval to the bill fast-tracking sports betting.
In March of 2019, the NHL announced that they had brought sports book operator William Hill on board as an official sports betting partner of the NHL.
On March 27th of this year, Monumental Sports and Entertainment CEO Ted Leonsis confirmed that the Greene Turtle restaurant at Capital One Arena will become a sportsbook. Leonsis made the comments during the American Gaming Association’s Sports Betting Executive Summit at MGM National Harbor.
In July of 2019, Former American Gaming Association (AGA) executive Sara Slane announced that she will work as a consultant for the National Hockey League (NHL), advising its teams on sports betting strategies. Slane’s consulting company, Slane Advisory, is based in Washington, D.C.
“I try to look at the global business environment and right now the sports gaming industry on a global basis is growing and very healthy,” says Billionaire @TedLeonsis
Monumental is partnering with William Hill for the first sports book in a professional sports arena pic.twitter.com/iR5jPScOw8
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) October 3, 2019
FROM WILLIAM HILL PRESS RELEASE
William Hill US, America’s leading sports book operator, and Monumental Sports & Entertainment, one of the country’s largest sports and entertainment companies that owns the Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, and Washington Mystics, today announced the formation of a first-of-its-kind partnership that will introduce a new era of sports betting in Washington D.C., while setting an industry-wide precedent for fan engagement.
Subject to the receipt of all required regulatory approvals, the partnership – which brings together two of the most innovative companies in sports – will include the creation of the first sports book at a U.S. professional sports venue, with the development of a William Hill Sports Book at Capital One Arena. William Hill also will become the exclusive sports betting partner of the Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics and Monumental Sports &Entertainment.
“Monumental is dedicated to bringing the latest technology and innovation into our arena and delivering extraordinary experiences to our fans. We are excited to partner with William Hill, the industry leader in sports betting, to become the first professional sports arena in the U.S. to feature a sportsbook,” said Ted Leonsis, chairman, founder, principal partner and CEO, Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “Through this partnership, we are thrilled to enhance the fan experience with innovative gaming opportunities and transformational dining and culinary options not just on event days, but year-round. Our partnership with William Hill compliments our vision of making our arena the premier sports and entertainment destination in Washington, D.C.”
“This sports book will be a flagship venue for the industry and will serve the sports fans of the Washington D.C. area unlike any other,” said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US. “Partnering with Ted Leonsis and the entire Monumental team was ideal. They share our vision and principles for bringing innovative sports betting opportunities to fans in a responsible way. Thisdeal sets a new benchmark for how the industry will serve fans and how fans engage in sports.”
Upon receipt of all required regulatory approvals, the sports book will be operated by William Hill, with a full-service food and beverage offering, complemented by all of the premium sports betting facilities that are synonymous with the brand. The book, which will span multiple floors, will be open daily, year-round, and accessible to the public from F Street. During game days andcertain in-arena events, ticketed and non–ticketed fans will have access to the sports book. The sports book also will be open on non-event days. Sports fans of legal age will also have the option to wager on a William Hill mobile app inside the arena, as permitted by the Washington D.C. regulations.
Construction to transform the space into a sports book is expected to begin pending regulatory approvals. The sports book is expected to become a year-round hub of activity for sports fans in the Washington, D.C. area. Fans will have the opportunity to come together to watch games, even when they aren’t live in the arena. For major events, there is the opportunity to turn the arena bowl into a 20,000–seat TV viewing area.
Powered by a heritage that dates back to 1934, William Hill established its U.S. presence in Las Vegas in 2012 and has grown to become America’s leading sports book operator by differentiating itself from the industry as an innovative pioneer in sports and sports betting. Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that overturned PASPA in 2018, William Hill has led United States expansion of sports betting and now has operations in 10 states. The company currently accepts one out of every four sports bets placed in the U.S.
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Bad news for bettors….Will Hill gets in where they have a monopoly. That way they can offer bad lines and treat (winning) bettors like crap. You will see….