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Cities like Washington D.C and Chicago are on the verge of offering sports betting in their arenas and stadiums, adding an entirely new element to the gameday experience.
For owners, bringing betting into the stadium gives fans a chance to bet on their favorite teams while they watch the game, adding a new feature that is not currently easily available.
By legalizing betting, states that allow sports teams to offer wagering in their stadiums create a huge boost to their tax base and local economies.
The proposition is a literal win-win for both states and owners, but getting the leagues on board has been a concern.
For the leagues, however, relaxing their staunch no-gambling stances has been easier due to the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize sports betting in the United States last year.
Leagues, owners, and legislators are also interested in squashing the black market and gaining more revenue from legal betting.
With estimates hovering around $150 billion illegally wagered last year, legislators believe that making legal sports betting participation easier is the best way to shrink the illegal bookmakers.
With arenas poised to become the next frontier in sports betting, one has to wonder why the same owners who have spoken out against gambling are now embracing the proposed initiatives.
Going to games these days is not a cheap endeavor. Fans who go to the game to cheer on their favorite team, typically utilize their disposable income to boost their enjoyment.
If sports betting becomes available at the game’s location, fans will be able to skip the nachos at the concession stand and place a bet on their team to win.
By allowing bets on-site, fans will be treated to an additional avenue for their entertainment dollar and the financial windfall will directly line the owners’ pocket, making sports betting attractive for all parties.
For team owners and sportsbook operators, the marriage allowing books to set up shop in a stadium with access to fans is an absolute dream scenario.
Wagering analyst Chris Grove told the Washington Post that “sports fans watching a game are the most valuable of situated consumers from a sportsbook’s point of view.”
Although sports betting is not a huge moneymaker for casinos, the added value to an arena to have a sportsbook that operates 365-days a year is immeasurable.
Since most teams only operate six to eight months a year, the facilities could be transformed through a sportsbook that offers around the year wagering as well as dining options.
Washington D.C has become the patient zero for in-stadium betting with the Capitol One Arena, home of the NHL’s Capitols and NBA’s Wizards, as the first location to offer betting on-site.
If all goes according to plan, betting will be available at the arena in time for the opening of the NHL season in early October.
If other teams see a surge in revenue for the Capital One Arena’s owners, we can certainly expect other copycat proposals to pop up along the betting landscape in the United States.
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