Washington DC’s Capital One Arena Could Have In-Stadium Sports Book by September

Posted on: March 28, 2019, 02:22h. 

Last updated on: March 28, 2019, 02:22h.

The Capital One Arena will have its own onsite sports book when the District of Columbia launches sports betting. That’s the word from Ted Leonsis, chairman and CEO of Monumental Sports, which owns the stadium, along with the teams that call it home: the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, Washington Valor and Washington Mystics.

Capital One Arena
The Capital One Arena should have its own onsite sports book by the time the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards begin the next NHL and NBA seasons. (Image: NHL)

“There will be a sportsbook inside the building accessible from the outside and depending on the league and depending on the event, it might be accessible from the inside as well,” Leonsis told the American Sports Betting Executive Summit this week at the MGM National Harbor, Maryland.

The news comes in the week NBC4 Washington reported that sports betting in the district will not be available until the beginning of the NFL season in September. City officials had hoped to be ready for the start of the MLB season last week, but regulations still need to be approved, while contractual issues with its sports betting provider need to be ironed out.

Monopoly Money

The DC Council passed sports betting legislation in February and essentially handed a monopoly on mobile wagering to Greece-based Intralot, which also manages the district’s lottery operations.

It was a controversial move, since the city officials bypassed the traditional competitive bidding process when it awarded the contract to Intralot, which has proposed a high-hold sports betting model — that means the book will pay back less to customers than sports books in other jurisdictions.

But DC’s legislation also left the door open to some operators that could provide some healthy competition to Intralot through limited land-based operations.

Capitals Gain

Since the district has no casinos, the bill allows for live wagering at four of its sports venues: DC United’s Audi Field, the Washington National’s Nationals Park, and St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena — home to the Washington Mystics and the Capital City Go-Go — as well as the Capital One.

Leonsis doesn’t own an NFL team, of course, but a September launch would see Capital and Wizards fans betting on their team inside the stadium when the 2019-20 NHL and NBA seasons get started the following month. Let’s just say that the sportsbook will be somewhat exposed to the Capitals and the Wizards.

“My expectation is that there will be built a very, very high-end world class restaurant called the Sports Book,” Leonsis said. “There will be televisions showing games from all over the world and people will be able to come in and watch games and dine and bet. And that is something that happens all over the world.”