D.C. Venue Gets Nod to Open First US Sportsbook Within a Strip Club

  • Elys/Cloakbook sportsbook to soft launch Thursday ahead of full rollout on Friday
  • Elys believes this retail segment can bolster economic recovery in US, Canadian communities
  • Cloakbook exec said firm was eager to “provide a whole new experience to our patrons in D.C.”
Washington, D.C. at sunset
Washington, D.C.’s Cloakroom Gentlemen’s Club is launching the first US sportsbook within a strip club after the DCOLG issued it a sports wagering operator’s license. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Sports wagering meets Bada Bing!

Unlike shady sports betting deals made in the fictional club Bada Bing! of The Sopranos fame, a similar but altogether legal set up is coming to the US where sports wagers can be made in an adult entertainment space.

sportsbook within a strip club is soft-launching Thursday

The US’s first sportsbook within a strip club is soft-launching Thursday after the District of Columbia’s Office of Lottery and Gaming, (DCOLG), on Tuesday issued a sports wagering operator’s license to Cloakbook subsidiary Cloakroom Gentlemen’s Club DC.

Big hopes

Michele Ciavarella, executive chairman of Elys, expressed her firm’s delight at being awarded the sports betting license in tandem with Cloakroom.

In a press release, Ciavarella stated that Elys “firmly believes that this segment of retail sports betting within neighborhood establishments could become a key driver for local employment and economic recovery at the community level” across Canada and the US.

an alternative to mobile betting that has not commonly existed in the United States”

The Elys exec added that the retail distribution aspect of the new sportsbook within a strip club offers “an alternative to mobile betting that has not commonly existed in the United States.”

Ciaverella also name-dropped Grand Central Restaurant and Sportsbook, DC’s first Class B sports wagering licensee, as helping the incoming sportsbook “identify areas of improvement needed” ahead of its launch this week.

Long road to compliance

Managing member of Cloakbook, Tony Cavasilios, expressed his firm’s eagerness to get sportsbook operations underway and “provide a whole new experience to our patrons in D.C.”

Cavasilios said the new set up would give guests the opportunity to eat and drink while wagering at the sportsbook and topping it off “with a celebration within the award-winning Cloakroom Gentlemen’s Club.”

The Cloakbook exec highlighted a long process of nearly two years that led to Tuesday’s license award. Cavasilios said Cloakbook has “gained a deep respect for the compliance framework of installing the sportsbook.”

He ended by praising the Elys installation and technology teams for their support in setting up the sportsbook within Cloakroom to provide this “ancillary service for our well-established patron relationships.”