Ted Leonsis has confirmed his intention of putting a sportsbook inside the Capital One Arena, home of National Basketball Association (NBA) outfit the Washington Wizards and National Hockey League (NHL) franchise the Washington Capitals.
Leonsis is the owner of both sports teams and their 20,000-seater venue through his Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) company, and is planning on delivering the first brick-and-mortar betting operation inside a US sports arena.
“There will be a sportsbook inside the building accessible from the outside and depending on the league and depending on the event, it might be accessible from the inside as well,” said Leonsis, speaking to reporters at the American Gaming Association Sports Betting Executive Summit.
MSE confirmed recently that it had bought The Green Turtle sports bar out of its lease, fuelling speculation that the facility would be replaced with a retail betting operation. The Green Turtle is situated on the ground floor of the Capital One Arena.
The sportsbook will be run by an outsider partner and Leonsis wants a relationship that will be innovative and worthwhile.
“We need to find a partner that says, ‘Yes, that’s what we want to do too and not just want to do the cookie cutter and do what has always been done,’” Leonsis added.
The move comes after the US Supreme Court last year overruled a federal law that had prohibited commercial sports betting in the country. The DC Council then passed a bill in December to legalise sports betting in the US capital city.