Another Online Sportsbook Is Now In DC, But It’s Not Citywide

Posted on December 30, 2020 - Last Updated on January 4, 2021

William Hill has launched a mobile sportsbook at Capital One Arena to tighten its stronghold on the Washington, DC market.

The DC Office of Lottery and Gaming recently approved the William Hill Sportsbook app. William Hill subsequently launched the app on Monday. It’s available on Apple and Android devices.

However, users will need to be in or near Capital One Arena to place bets, which is a bit of a hindrance.

William Hill opened a “popup sportsbook” at Capital One Arena in July. The arena is home to the NHL’s Washington Capitals and NBA’s Washington Wizards. It’s located just miles from the Virginia border.

Now, though, the William Hill app can accept online wagers — with some limitations.

How the William Hill app works

Although the William Hill app gives DC sports bettors more options to place a wager, it’s not a perfect solution.

Only the DC Lottery’s official online app and platform, GambetDC, is permitted to take online wagers throughout most of the nation’s capital.

Instead, Capital One Arena serves as a retail location for William Hill. As previously announced, those temporary betting windows will soon get a major facelift and a permanent entertainment and lounge area in early 2021 as William Hill expands its arena presence.

However, even with its new app, William Hill can’t take online wagers from throughout Washington, DC. Instead, you can wager via the app if you’re located:

  • Within Capital One Arena
  • Within a two-block radius of the arena (excluding federal buildings)

Officials say the William Hill app will offer the usual broad and deep array of betting markets. Other options, including parlays and live in-game betting, will be available.

How DC’s market could affect Virginia

Despite William Hill’s obvious limitations, it’s the king of DC sports betting. In November, William Hill’s Capital One Arena-based operation took $13.7 million in bets. GambetDC booked just $3.9 million in wagers despite its fully online presence and overall convenience.

As for Virginia sports betting — the commonwealth’s first legal sportsbooks could be online as early as next month — the DC sportsbooks are unlikely to be major competition.

First, Virginians would have to be physically located in Washington, DC to place a wager at GambetDC or William Hill. Virginia sportsbooks will be fully online statewide. Additionally, players will be able to register, deposit, wager and cash out right from their computers and mobile devices.

With a market that could feature up to 12 operators, Virginia sportsbooks will be competing heavily for customers. That usually means attractive sign-up bonuses and other offers for new players, who will likely have no need to go to DC. (A William Hill online sportsbook may also come to Virginia.)

Still, for Virginians who venture to Capital One Arena for the venue’s steady offering of professional and collegiate games, the William Hill app could be a nice perk for bettors.

Photo by Andrew Harnik / The Associated Press
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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