King Of DC Betting William Hill Shows Off Its Capital One Castle

Posted on October 15, 2020

That temporary William Hill sportsbook retail location at Capital One Arena could soon become a permanent destination for sports bettors.

William Hill successfully launched in August with a sort-of sportsbook “popup” shop at the Washington, DC arena, which is located just a few miles from the Virginia border.

Now, the company has shared its vision for its permanent location. Officials today unveiled renderings of the entertainment venue, which is expected to open in early 2021.

The unveiling comes after another impressive monthly sports-betting handle for William Hill at Capital One Arena. In its first full month, William Hill took $9.1 million in wagers in August. However, handle grew 34% to $12.2 million in September.

William Hill has partnered with Monumental Sports & Entertainment for the DC location. MSE owns Capital One Arena, as well as its most notable tenants: the NHL’s Washington Capitals, NBA’s Washington Wizards, and WNBA’s Washington Mystics.

William Hill’s upscale permanent sportsbook

William Hill is promising a “first-of-its-kind sports fan experience” with its new permanent location at Capital One Arena.

Upon its DC launch in August, WH became the first operator to offer sports betting inside a major U.S. professional sports complex.

However, the current version of William Hill is little more than a few dedicated ticket windows. The company, though, provided some literal window dressing to give the temporary area a sportsbook look and feel.

What will the new permanent location offer? Possibly some stickiness for sports fans, according to William Hill US President of Retail Operations David Grolman:

”The success of the William Hill pop-up sports book 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 – ofering a full-service sports book and restaurant, with an ambiance built around the excitement and energy of live sporting events.”

The multi-level space will take over the former site of the Greene Turtle restaurant. It will boast 12 betting windows and 10 self-service kiosks. They’ll be part of a massive entertainment space that includes 1,500 square feet of custom LED that will wrap the entire facility. The space, which will have loads of memorabilia to honor local sports teams, will also have a radio and TV broadcast studio, large video board, VIP areas, and a private dining/event space.

Once they receive regulatory approvals, WH and MSE will begin construction. They expect to open on a currently unknown date in “early 2021.”

Online competition for GambetDC?

One interesting aspect of the revamped William Hill location would be the addition of online wagering.

Well, limited online wagering, anyway.

If patrons are within the Capital One Arena complex, they’ll be able to wager on the William Hill mobile platform.

That will be a good way for WH to capture bets from its sportsbook customers, as well as game-day attendees in the arena.

However, the sportsbook operator can’t offer a true DC-wide online wagering option. The DC Lottery’s official online app and platform is GambetDC. It’s the only operator that’s permitted to take wagers throughout most of the nation’s capital.

William Hill has already outpaced that lone competitor, though. August marked its first month of competition. The company took $9.1 million in wagers to GambetDC’s $2.1 million. In September, WH ($12.2 million) continued that domination over GambetDC, which took in $3.3 million.

Photo by Leonid Andronov | Dreamstime.com
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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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