A Sportsbook Is Coming to D.C.’s Capital One Arena: William Hill & Monumental Sports Ink Partnership

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Capital One Arena

Oct 03, 2019, 12:57 PM EDT
  • Monumental Sports & Entertainment and William Hill have agreed to a partnership that will bring a sportsbook to Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Wizards (NBA), Capitals (NHL) and Mystics (WNBA).

Ted Leonsis — owner of the Washington Capitals, Wizards and Mystics — and William Hill, the largest retail sportsbook operation in the U.S., announced Thursday that they are bringing the first-ever sportsbook to an American pro sports arena.

Leonsis’ company Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns Capital One Arena, has leased a two-story space (around 20,000 square feet) inside the arena to William Hill. The space will renovated by the sportsbook operator.

Fans will be able to enter the sportsbook from the street without a ticket on gamedays. The venue will also be open to the public on non-gamedays.

The goal is to have the sportsbook up and running by spring 2020, though a lot of that will depend on, what else, politics. William Hill is expected to apply for a license, and once it gets approved, fans inside the venue will have access to William Hill’s mobile app, but that will not necessarily be the case for those outside the venue.

Washington D.C. legalized sports gambling nine months ago, but it has been in limbo since. The sports betting contract, worth more than $200 million, was awarded to Intralot by the D.C. Lottery without allowing others to bid, which led to a lawsuit.

William Hill had been a holdout among the big sports gambling brands in terms of doing official deals with leagues to purchase official data. That changed earlier this week, when the operator agreed to pay the NBA, a precursor to this deal.

William Hill does have a sponsorship deal with the New Jersey Devils inside the Prudential Center, and while bets can be taken on the mobile app inside the arena, there is not a window or kiosks. Capital One will have all of those options.

Rules of operating the sportsbook will vary sport-to-sport For Wizards games, betting kiosks cannot be used. They can be in operation for NHL games. Rules for fan entry and exit will also vary depending on sport. For NBA games, the entry from the concourse into the sportsbook will be closed, so a fan will not be able to go from betting in the sportsbook through the concourse into the arena. He or she must exit the building and come back in. For NHL games, the fan can enter and exit as he or she wishes.

To protect the integrity of the game, no team executives will have any part in the betting operations. In fact, William Hill’s deal is strictly a rent and sponsorship deal rather than a joint partnership. The team will not participate in any revenue share, so there is no incentive to push betting volume.

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