A new era in the legal sports betting industry began Wednesday with the much-anticipated opening of the first ever US stadium sportsbook. Washington DC’s Capital One Arena officially opened its state-of-the-art book at the home of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals in conjunction with Caesars Entertainment’s William Hill brand.
The stadium sportsbook model is just the latest step in what has been the rapid expansion and maturation of a US legal sports betting industry that has only been active since 2018. Capital One Arena is the first, but definitely won’t be the last sporting venue to host such a platform. An avalanche of similar deals is expected to follow during the impressive growth period of legal sports betting in the US scene.
“Fans come to the arena and they now have the ability to have a rooting interest, if you will, in the outcome of the game,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder & CEO Ted Leonsis said. “I just view this as a natural extension of what was happening but to do it in a more modern — in the sunlight, in a transparent — way.”
What to Expect
Fan engagement has become an important catalyst for the broad acceptance of legal sports betting in the US. It wasn’t that long ago that betting on sports was viewed as taboo among teams, owners and leagues around the world.
Now the Wiliam Hill Sportsbook at Capital One Arena has the potential to take the legal sports betting industry to a totally different level. And why not! The new sportsbook will be a state-of-the-art, flashy two-story, 18,000 square foot facility, complete with 100+ televisions, replicas of the jumbotron screen at the stadium and a wrap-around 1,500 square foot LED screen that will span the outside of the sportsbook.
Verizon 5G Wi-Fi technology will give customers the best possible mobile betting experience while at the arena and inside the betting facility.
The new betting facility is not only about betting. It will be the scene of a high-end restaurant headed by Michelin-Starred Chef, and Maryland native Nicholas Stefanelli. It speaks to the desire for an absolute top-notch year-round experience and the desire for the facility to bring in not only new visitors but the throngs of sports fans that frequent the facility.
“Monumental Sports & Entertainment is proud to have worked with William Hill and Caesars Entertainment, a proven leader and innovator in sports betting, to provide the preeminent fan experience and serve as exemplars to the industry as first-in-class and best-in-class,” said Ted Leonsis. “Providing a data-driven, technologically-advanced environment in a beautiful, approachable space with fine dining options provided by Chef Stefanelli will further enhance the indelible memories we create nightly at Capital One Arena and draw even more visitors to our historic downtown D.C. neighborhood.”
There will be 12 self-service betting kiosks and 17 betting windows for bettors to take advantage of inside the Arena making it so customers don’t have to leave the arena to place a bet and potentially miss out on any action during the games.
Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, commented: “With more than 100 televisions, nearly 20 betting windows and a dozen kiosks in the space as well as access to the William Hill mobile app, our guests will enjoy a great game day watching the Capitals or Wizards at home or wagering on their favorite teams during any game.”
Capitol One Arena’s William Hill Sportsbook will be the location of a cutting-edge broadcasting studio as well that will churn out sports related content including some with a betting edge. The popular “By the Book” sports betting show is one such product that will be broadcast out of the new studio.
All eyes will be on the William Hill Sportsbook at Capital One for the foreseeable future. Many other states, sports betting providers and teams are rumored to be interested in their own brand of stadium sportsbook going forward and the Washington DC model could become the standard.
It seems like an obvious progression for the US legal sports betting industry and more proof that the platform has almost become mainstream. “This feels very natural to be in this building and to be able to walk into the arena and into a venue like this, to place bets, and I think you’re going to see this continue throughout the country,” Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment said.
It all kicks off Saturday when Capitol One Arena hosts its first full-on sporting event since the opening of the sportsbook with the Washington Wizards hosting the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 of their NBA playoff series. With COVID restrictions a thing of the past, expect a full house at Capitol One Arena and for the William Hill Sportsbook to be hopping.