Monumental Sports and Entertainment (MSE) has partnered with betting company William Hill to bring a sportsbook to the Capital One Arena, home of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Washington Wizards and the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Washington Capitals.
In what is a first for a professional US sports venue, the sportsbook will cover multiple floors and be open daily, year-round, while also having a full-service food and beverage offering. During game days, and certain in-arena events, ticketed and non-ticketed fans will be able to access the facility.
The sportsbook aims to serve as a hub for sports fans in the Washington DC area, giving them the opportunity to watch games even when they are not being held live in the arena. For major events, there is also the opportunity to turn the arena bowl into a 20,000-seater TV viewing area.
Construction of the Capital One Arena’s William Hill Sports Book will begin after receiving the required regulatory approvals.
The agreement also lists William Hill as the exclusive sports betting partner of MSE, the Wizards, the Capitals, and the Women’s National Basketball Association’s (WNBA) Washington Mystics.
As part of the deal, MSE will not share gambling revenues with William Hill, with the brand instead paying rent under a standard leasing arrangement, according to the Washington Post. The newspaper adds William Hill will separately rent advertising space around the arena.
MSE’s Chief Executive Officer, Ted Leonsis, signalled his intent earlier this year to put a sportsbook inside the Capital One Arena, following the DC Council’s decision in December 2018 to pass a bill legalising sports betting in the US capital. That followed the US Supreme Court’s decision to overrule a federal law prohibiting commercial sports betting in the country.
Leonsis said of the deal, “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, DC.”
Joe Asher, Chief Executive Office of William Hill US, added, “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. This deal sets a new benchmark for how the industry will serve fans and how fans engage in sports.”