William Hill Opens First-Ever Sportsbook in a US Arena
William Hill officially opened Wednesday its permanent sportsbook inside the Capital One Arena in Washington, creating history in US sports betting. Caesars-owned sportsbook at Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s Capital One Arena is the first-ever sports betting venue to open within a US professional sports facility.
The Capital One Arena is home to the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals.
Though the UK-based bookmaker did the official ribbon-cutting for its permanent sportsbook on Wednesday, William Hill had been operating its temporary sportsbook at the arena since last fall.
The remarkable development represents a stark change in the relationship between sports leagues, teams, and sports betting companies over the past few years, said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment. The Las Vegas-based casino and hotel company acquired the British bookmaker in a $3.7 billion deal, agreed by the parties last September and closed last month in April.
The culmination of the 2019 Deal
William Hill and Monumental Sports and Entertainment agreed to a partnership in Oct. 2019 to open a marquee destination for the local as well as global visitors.
Monumental Sports and Entertainment owner and CEO Ted Leonsis said, “The company is proud to have collaborated with William Hill, a proven leader and innovator in sports betting to offer the preeminent fan experience.”
He hailed the Caesars-owned sportsbook as the first-in-class and best-in-class in the sports betting industry. He said the fine dining options provided by Chef Stefanelli would further enhance the indelible memories his team creates nightly at Capital One Arena. Leonsis hopes the overall experience will draw additional visitors to the downtown DC neighborhood.
What to Expect from William Hill’s Permanent Sportsbook?
The two-story venue spanning 18,000 square-foot will offer 17 betting windows and 12 self-service betting kiosks. It will also feature Verizon 5G Wi-FI capability so customers can place bets on mobile devices via the William Hill app from their seats, no matter they are watching a Capitals or Wizards game or they are watching out-of-town games in the sports betting facility while enjoying a meal from Stefanelli’s sports-bar.
The sportsbook will have as many as 100 television screens. A custom, 1500 square-foot LED screen covers the entire facility, enabling visitors to view multiple games across various sports simultaneously.
A broadcast studio has also been added to use for live television and radio shows, in addition to two VIP areas and a private dining and entertainment space.
William Hill’s permanent sportsbook will be open daily, year-round. It will be accessible to the public from F Street while providing direct access to and from the Arena during select ticketed events, currently number 230 annually and welcomes 3 million visitors.
William Hill Sets a Trend Worth Following
The grand ribbon-cutting on Wednesday attracted, with a tendency to inspire, many sports owners, who want to imitate the trend set by William Hill at the DC arena. Similar models are to be expected soon. In Washington DC itself, BetMGM is preparing to open its sportsbook at the Nationals Park, the home of Washington Nationals. Also, in Wrigley Field in Chicago, DraftKings is also eying an imminent launch.
“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 a wager,” Reeg said in an interview with the media. Reeg hoped this trend would continue throughout the country.