DC’s Capital One Arena to House William Hill Sportsbook

  • Monumental owns Washington Wizards, Mystics, and Capitals
  • William Hill Sportsbook will be open to public daily
  • Fans at games can wager in-game via mobile app
Exterior close-up of Capital One Arena.
William Hill has partnered with Monumental Sports & Entertainment to build a sportsbook at Capital One Arena, the first of its kind at a U.S. professional sports venue. [Image: Shutterstock]

Monumental owns much of D.C. professional sports

Monumental Sports & Entertainment and William Hill US announced on Thursday that they will partner on the creation of a new sportsbook at Washington D.C.’s Capital One Arena. The William Hill Sportsbook will be the first-ever sportsbook at a U.S. professional sports venue.

Monumental owns the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and the NHL’s Washington Capitals. It also owns Capital One Arena and a number of other brands, including the Arena Football League.

As part of the partnership, William Hill will become the official sports betting partner of the Wizards, Mystics, and Capitals. This news follows William Hill being named an authorized sports betting operator of the NBA.

Sportsbook to be a year-round draw

The new betting facility will be a full-fledged sportsbook, covering multiple floors of the arena and offering full-service food and drink.

It will not just be for fans attending games. The sportsbook will be open year-round and will be accessible to the public, even if people do not have tickets for an event.

Monumental’s plan is to make it a gathering place for people to watch sports all the time

The facility will naturally be busy on game days, but Monumental’s plan is to make it a gathering place for people to watch sports all the time, like a sports bar of sorts. For major events, such as the Super Bowl, Monumental will open up the entire Capital One Arena into one, giant viewing area.

Ted Leonsis, chairman, founder, principal partner, and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment said of the alliance: “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.”

In-game mobile betting available

Fans attending games at Capital One Arena will also be able to place in-game bets on a mobile app.

In a press conference, William Hill US president Joe Asher used the Capitals’ opening game on Wednesday night as an example of how in-game wagering can add to the fan experience. The Capitals fell behind 2-0 within the first 8 minutes of the game, but rallied to win in overtime. Asher explained:

There would have been a lot of people betting on them to come back and win.”

He added: “And you get good odds when you’re betting on the team that’s behind to come back and win the game. So that just sort of drives further engagement. It gives people reason to watch more, to watch till the very end.”

D.C. sports betting details

The D.C. Council approved a sports betting bill in December 2018. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed it into law in January of this year.

The four local professional sports venues – Capital One Arena, Nationals Park, Audi Field, and St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena – are eligible for Class A sports betting licenses. The licenses give them an exclusivity zone of two blocks and allow for mobile betting at the venues.

Other potential operators can apply for Class B licenses throughout the District, but do not get exclusivity zones.

Intralot was awarded a $215 million no-bid contract for mobile sports betting throughout D.C. apart from the sports venues. That contract is in jeopardy, though, as Council members have called for an investigation into connections between Intralot and government officials.

App developer Dylan Carragher has also filed a lawsuit, saying that the awarding of the contract without competition violated the law. A judge issued a temporary restraining order, delaying Intralot’s contract. That restraining order was just extended until October 28.