The Washington, DC sports betting market has a new player following an exclusive partnership between the Washington Nationals and BetMGM Sportsbook.
Officials from the Major League Baseball team and the gaming/entertainment company announced the multi-year deal on Monday.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
However, as part of the agreement, BetMGM officials will open a sportsbook that’s connected to Nationals Park. It’s the 2019 World Series champions’ home field in Washington, DC.
Additionally, as with another recently announced DC-geared deal, BetMGM will launch a mobile app. With it, sports bettors can place bets in and around Nationals Park.
BetMGM beats rivals to DC market
The BetMGM-Nationals deal itself may not be a surprise to industry insiders. However, the fact it includes BetMGM and not a heavyweight such as DraftKings Sportsbook or FanDuel Sportsbook may raise some eyebrows.
As we’ve previously reported, the DC market isn’t exactly the most competitive. It’s one reason that Virginia sports betting vets, who will soon have their own legal in-state options, haven’t flocked north to cross the border to place bets in the nation’s capital.
The DC Office of Lottery and Gaming’s official app and platform is GambetDC. The Intralot product is the only operator that the DC Lottery permits to accept online wagers throughout most of DC.
However, the DC Lottery also recently approved the launch of a William Hill mobile sportsbook. But because of GambetDC’s near-monopoly, there are some limitations for the William Hill app. Chiefly, users will need to be physically located in the few blocks around Capital One Arena to place bets.
William Hill had already been operating temporary betting windows at Capital One Arena, which is the home of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and NBA’s Washington Wizards, among other teams. The brick-and-mortar presence will soon get a major facelift. However, William Hill’s mobile-betting restrictions remain.
Additionally, like the Nats and BetMGM, DC United and FanDuel also recently announced a deal. Together, they will open a retail sportsbook at Audi Field, the Major League Soccer team’s home facility.
What BetMGM hopes to bring to DC
As for the Nationals, BetMGM officials said sports betting will be the focus on the partnership. The deal will also include fan-focused campaigns and co-branding opportunities.
It’s all about fan engagement, according to Lerner Sports Group chief operating officer Alan Gottlieb.
“The Nationals are thrilled to expand our strong partnership with MGM Resorts into the sports betting realm. As our official sports betting partner, BetMGM will further enhance the greatest in-venue fan experience in Washington, DC through its state-of-the-art entertainment products and services.
“The BetMGM mobile app will enable our fans to engage with the game in new and exciting ways, while the BetMGM Sportsbook connected to Nationals Park will provide Nationals fans and the DC community with a first-class gathering place to celebrate their passion for sports together.”
The physical sportsbook will be located in the space currently serving as Center Field Social. The lounge area is located near the Nationals Team Store.
The sportsbook will have an upscale look similar to the MGM National Harbor Dugout Club luxury sports box, according to officials.
During games, attendees won’t have access to the physical sportsbook. However, they’ll be able to use the BetMGM mobile app, officials said.
According to BetMGM’s chief revenue officer, Matt Prevost:
“This new partnership with the Nationals is our most in-depth partnership with a team and showcases the multitude of ways we’re able to engage fans in and out of stadiums. We’re extremely excited to work together to create unique experiences for Nationals fans and the broader DC metro area during and after games.”
BetMGM is currently live in 11 states. According to the announcement, the company plans to enter the Virginia market, “pending regulatory approval.” The Virginia Lottery‘s decision on BetMGM’s license application should be announced in the next few weeks.