William Hill Launches as First Official Sportsbook in DC
Following the return of various professional sports into live-action, William Hill wished to grab the limelight by opening up for wagers as MLB, NBA, and NHL have resumed their seasons.
An Interim Sportsbook Office Was Set-Up
To ensure that they may not miss any live sporting action, William Hill set up an interim location inside the ticket office of the Capital One Arena.
People can use these self-serve kiosks, or can walk-up windows staffed for those placing a bet with a live person or don’t prefer to use the kiosk.
As many as ten electronic kiosks in addition to four walk-up windows providing people lots of options, and a way to keep it from becoming too crowded.
Besides, there are digital boards with odds hanging above the box office windows aimed at providing players with updated information for placing sports wagers.
Don’t forget, those who are looking to go to place a bet, to stick to current health and safety protocols as DC is currently in Phase 2 regulations. So, social distancing and masks are the requirements you must adhere to.
This first retail location is the culmination of the deal between Ted Leonsis and William Hill, which was signed in 2019.
The Great Betting Option
Before William Hill opened up their sportsbook here, DC Lottery’s GambetDC was the sole option for residents to place wagers. However, the GambetDC app had been the curse for the players looking for convenient betting options.
Certain issues were reported with its signup process and odds, and the no-bid monopoly for Intralot further complicated the process.
While launch dates had been discussed before, it took 15 months before the first bet could be placed.
Another hurdle is to make people to travel and visit the Capital One Arena to place their bet. But hopes are high that the excitement of the venue will attract people who are also disillusioned by the GambetDC app.
Looking Forward to a Permanent Sportsbook Later in 2020
As said before, the current setup is just a temporary arrangement. A permanent location that has already been announced will open up within a few months from now. The permanent sportsbook will be located in the former Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille space.
For the time being, the soft launch will serve as an introduction for both bettors and the staff, who will have to get used to taking live bets in person.
While commenting on the temporary sportsbook, the president for operations for William Hill, David Grolman said:
“It’s like what you would do at a venue when you invite people for a soft opening. You can train each day, but until you have people standing before you asking for a ‘team round-robin,’ you aren’t sure what to expect.”
Grolman is optimistic about the soft launch that he believes will serve as a training exercise before the permanent location will be operational by November.