A famous bookmaker and the owner of 3 Washington D.C. professional sports teams plan to open the US‘s first on-premises sports betting facility inside an arena.
In a partnership announced last Thursday, William Hill and Monumental Sports & Entertainment, a betting company that owns pro hockey and basketball teams in the capital, said that they would open a sports book inside the Capital One Arena as soon as necessary approvals are obtained.
Not any estimated opening date was given, but signs at that arena indicate an opening in 2020 is contemplated.
William Hill will also become the exclusive sports betting partner of the Washington Wizards of NBA, the Washington Capitals of NHL, and the Washington Mystics of WNBA.
Sports fans will be able to place bets at the sports book inside the Capital One Arena, or use a mobile app to bet inside the arena.
In a news conference on Thursday, the president of William Hill USJoe Asher said that the sports book should engage fans more directly in the game, citing a hockey match from the night before the Capitals were down early in the game.
He said there would have been many people betting on them to come back and win and you might get good odds when you are betting on the team that would be behind to come back and win the game. So it gives people reason to watch more, to watch till the very end.
The sports book will span some floors of the arena, and will be accessible to both ticket holders and those without tickets. It will also be open to accept bets on days when there are no events at the arena, too.
The companies also envision broadcasting out-of-area sports events on screens at the arena, where fans could bet on them.
Some sports and lawmakers in several states have considered in-stadium betting, but have not yet approved it. A version of a proposed sports betting bill New York legislators have struggled with would allow wagering in stadiums including Citi Field and Yankee Stadium.