Although the Washington, DC, sports betting market has largely been a disappointment, the new William Hill Sportsbook is anything but.
On Wednesday, William Hill officials formally opened its retail sportsbook at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC.
The venture marks a milestone for sports venues and sportsbooks. With the opening, William Hill Sportsbook becomes the first sports betting venue to operate within a US professional sports arena.
William Hill, which is part of Caesars Entertainment, and Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) first announced plans for the glitzy betting parlor in October 2019.
Now, the two-story and 18,000-square-foot sports-betting facility has been realized. It’s the first of its kind not only in the DMV but nationwide.
How to bet at William Hill Sportsbook
With a 10-year lease, William Hill should be a longtime tenant at the MSE-owned Capital One Arena. Currently, the 20,000-seat arena, which is part of Washington, DC’s Chinatown, is home to the Washington Capitals (NHL), Washington Wizards (NBA) and Georgetown University (NCAA men’s basketball).
The William Hill Sportsbook is located in the space previously occupied by the Greene Turtle sports bar. WH had opened a pop-up shop of sorts in Capital One Arena while the official William Hill Sportsbook was under construction, and it proved quite popular.
Now, once at the new sportsbook, bettors have many ways to place a wager:
- 17 in-person betting windows
- 12 self-service betting kiosks
- The William Hill mobile app (operational in the arena and in the few blocks around it)
The William Hill Sportsbook is open year-round, on game days and non-game days. Visitors can access the sportsbook via F Street.
Current William Hill Sportsbook hours are:
- Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Saturday-Sunday: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Although seven Virginia sportsbooks are now operational, the commonwealth doesn’t yet have any retail sportsbooks. Now, as COVID-19 precautions ease and folks return to the real world, the William Hill Sportsbook is sure to draw sports fans from Virginia, Maryland and elsewhere.
What’s inside the Capital One Arena sportsbook
If you’ve been to Las Vegas, the William Hill Sportsbook at Capital One Arena has many of the features you’ve probably seen there.
On launch day, William Hill released photos of the completed facility.
The WH Sportsbook features:
- 100 television screens, including ones on a replica Capital One Arena jumbotron
- A 1,500-square-foot LED screen that wraps around the entire facility
- A broadcast studio that will host MSE’s new “By the Book” sports betting show
- Dining from Michelin-rated Chef Nicholas Stefanelli
- VIP areas and private dining/meeting space
- DC sports memorabilia
As MSE founder and CEO Ted Leonsis, who also owns the Wizards and Capitals (among others), stated:
“Monumental Sports & Entertainment is proud to have worked with William Hill and Caesars Entertainment, a proven leader and innovator in sports betting, to provide the preeminent fan experience and serve as exemplars to the industry as first-in-class and best-in-class. Providing a data-driven, technologically advanced environment in a beautiful, approachable space with fine dining options provided by Chef Stefanelli will further enhance the indelible memories we create nightly at Capital One Arena and draw even more visitors to our historic downtown DC neighborhood.”
More DC retail sports betting coming
Capital One Arena draws 3 million visitors annually with its approximately 230 games and events. Therefore, plenty of sports enthusiasts will be exposed to this first-of-its-kind in-arena sportsbook.
Interested parties — teams, venues, sportsbook operators and sports bettors themselves — will be paying close attention to this guinea pig of sorts. After all, plenty of sports betting proponents hope to replicate the model in arenas and stadiums throughout the US.
Thus far, the Washington, DC, sports betting market has failed to meet expectations. That’s largely due to the near monopoly that the DC Lottery-backed GambetDC has with the online market. The product is so bad that bettors have opted for in-person betting over mobile betting. In turn, it’s made William Hill the DC sports betting leader, with approximately 75% market share.
However, other retail sports betting outlets could be coming to DC. Officials are planning their own in Nationals Park (BetMGM) and Audi Field (FanDuel). Additionally, like at the William Hill Sportsbook, bettors will be able to place online bets in a small area geofenced around the sports venues.