WASHINGTON — Monumental Sports & Entertainment held a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday morning for the grand opening of William Hill U.S.’ new permanent sportsbook inside Capital One Arena. The event included multiple leaders in the sports and gambling industries from both local and national levels, as the venue is the first to operate within a U.S. professional sports arena.
Featuring 17 betting windows and 12 self-service betting kiosks, the two-story, 18,000-square-foot facility kicked off to the fanfare of oversized scissors and applause. The opening comes following a partnership deal struck in October 2019 between leading sportsbook operator William Hill U.S. and the venue.
“It’s a wonderful day for sports fans,” said Ted Leonsis, CEO of Monumental sports and owner of multiple DC pro sports teams, including the Capitals, Wizards, and Mystics. “This is really the first step in the reinvention of the role arenas play in the community.”
The William Hill Sportsbook says it will offer guests a truly unique experience with three elite purveyors in the hospitality and entertainment industries, including a restaurant concept from Michelin-star chef and Maryland native, Nicholas Stefanelli.
“I believe this is going to be a huge success because it is very fan-friendly,” Leonsis said. “Having an experience in the building more than just when the game is here.”
The permanent venue is now the first legal sportsbook to grace the District due to the lessening of restrictions on sports betting and gambling nationwide after the Supreme Court decision in 2019, which negated the Bradley Act's strong-handed approach in the 90s that was used to help curb illegal gambling.
More than 100 television screens adorn the Sportsbook, including four positioned on all sides of a jumbotron that hangs from the ceiling in the center of the venue that is a replica of the one inside Capital One Arena at center ice/center court. A custom, 1,500 square-foot LED screen wraps the entire facility and offers visitors the best viewing experience for enjoying multiple games across various sports simultaneously.
There is also a broadcast studio that will be used to host live television and radio shows, as well as two VIP areas and a private dining and entertainment space. Design elements pay homage to the history of sports and local professional teams, including baseball stitching incorporated into the staircase railing, vintage lockers featured in the main bar, local sports memorabilia throughout the space and sketches of local arenas printed on the ceiling.
A temporary facility was opened at the Capital One Arena Box Office in August 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic and was one of the more successful businesses in D.C. in the fall.
“This is the new paradigm,” said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, a financial and operating partner who became involved with the Sportsbook in recent months providing digital platforms and innovation.
William Hill U.S. operates over 100 race and sportsbooks in Nevada and has a variety of other books opened up across the United States.