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William Hill US is currently previewing a first look into the permanent sportsbook to be located in the Capital One Arena, following the launch of a pop-up facility at the sports complex.
The sportsbook will be the first for a Class A venue. That means it’s based at one of the District’s flagship sports arenas opening in the city since William Hill and Monumental Sports and Entertainment, which operates Capital One Arena, inked their partnership last year.
William Hill’s temporary operation opened at the end of July and had seen more than 113,000 bets placed totaling $12.2 million, according to the sportsbook. The new permanent venue, which will replace the former Greene Turtle bar at Capital One Arena, will include 1,500 square feet of LED screens, a Jumbotron on the second level, and a radio and TV broadcast studio on the first floor.
The sportsbook standing apart will include 12 ticket windows and 10 self-service kiosks and will feature two VIP areas plus a large private dining and event space.
For bettors, the sportsbook will be open daily, year-round with the second floor offering direct access to Capital One Arena during certain ticketed events. William Hill’s mobile app, which can only be used inside the arena will also be available, though further details will be announced during the coming weeks along with the site’s food and beverage operator.
“The William Hill Sports Book will be a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience, not only for Wizards and Capitals fans attending events but for all sports fans,” Jim Van Stone, president of business operations and chief commercial officer for Monumental Sports & Entertainment, said in a statement.
The Capital One Arena is only part of William Hill’s new location plans. The brand has a growing presence in several US states including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, DC, and West Virginia. Overall, 14 states where William Hill has a legal sportsbook with 160 total current locations nationwide. On deck is the partnership arrangement between William Hill and Caesars Sportsbook that will create a further national expansion, targeting WH to fall under the Caesars corporate entity. It is expected that the process should take approximately a year to reach completion.
William Hill’s appearance at the Capital One Arena should make an immediate effect felt by local players as well. Before Washington DC, the sports wagering industry was run by the DC Lottery and was universally viewed negatively by experienced bettors. October’s preview provides some favorable optimism toward the future. Final touches will be put upon the sportsbook which is aiming for completion early in 2021.
William Hill’s kiosks and mobile wagering platform were responsible for $12.2 million in bets for the month of September, accounting for 113.000 bets. That represented a 33.5% handle increase from $9.1 in August and a 63.6% increase in bets taken in over that same monthly period.
David Grolman, president of retail operations for William Hill the US, said in the news release:
The success of the William Hill pop-up sportsbook has exceeded our expectations, and we’re excited to create the next phase of the sports fan experience with our permanent location inside the Capital One Arena. What we’re creating now is a game-day experience that can’t be rivaled. Offering a full-service sportsbook and restaurant, with an ambiance built around the excitement and energy of live sporting events.
Expect this week’s preview to be part of a commonplace experience for all US bettors in the future. Though difficult to imagine only a few years ago, it will not be unusual to leave your seat to place a wager on any game throughout the nation (or the world), then return to enjoy the action. Or perhaps just show up at the arena to enjoy lunch or dinner beforehand to bet games. Like the song says, “the times they are a-changing”.
Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
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