We have all seen plenty of things changing before our eyes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that sports are coming back at a rapid pace, it’s about time that the District of Columbia made things easier for its customers.
Starting at 4 p.m. EST on Friday, William Hill U.S. opened seven betting windows and nine kiosks at the box office of Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
For now, the box office at the home of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Wizards will be the temporary venue for William Hill as the retail location has ongoing construction. It is now open seven days a week, available from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST.
“Bringing fresh and innovative experiences to fans is core to our mission at Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and we are so proud to partner with William Hill to bring this new dimension to the Washington Metropolitan region,” Jim Van Stone, president of business operations and chief commercial officer for Monumental Sports, said in a release announcing the opening of the temporary sportsbook.
“William Hill is a globally-recognized brand in delivering excellence and is an industry leader in safe, responsible gaming while maintaining the highest levels of integrity. Those qualities are consistent with our own values, and we look forward to inspiring even more visitors to our arena, where we take deep pride in fostering a sense of community.”
Operating During a Pandemic
To answer everyone’s questions – yes, COVID-19 safety protocols have been set in place. Social distancing, hand sanitizers, and face masks are all available for customers.
“We are proud of our relationship with Ted Leonsis and his team at Monumental,” Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill U.S., said in the release. “They have been terrific partners, and we’re really pleased with how we have worked together to navigate through this challenging time. We’ve come up with this temporary location as a way to allow our customers to bet on sports now that they are resuming, while we continue to work towards finalizing the permanent sportsbook, restaurant and bar concept we have always visualized.”
Everyone is pretty excited about the road ahead. After all, this is a state-of-the-art facility inside the arena of a home to two professional teams.
“It’ll be what I think is the most immersive sportsbook-restaurant experience anywhere the country,” said David Grolman, president of retail operations for William Hill U.S. “We’ll have TVs obviously throughout, great lounge seating up on the second floor, and we hope that the restaurant itself will serve as a first-class restaurant, not just a place where’d you go to get wings.”
Now that the Capitals and Wizards have a pretty sweet deal in Capital One Arena, the hope is that more will follow. The New York Giants and New York Jets have FanDuel Sportsbook on the premises of Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
“It’s no surprise at all to have sportsbooks in stadiums and arenas,” said Wayne Kimmel, a venture capitalist and chairman of SeventySix Capital Sports Advisory, a consulting group focused on the evolving landscape of sports and gaming. “I think you’re going to see a complete convergence of the sports world, the sports betting world, the casino industry, all really coming together and providing a full, 360 entertainment experience for fans in the future.”
This is not the last move that we’ll see from casinos/sportsbooks in professional sports venues. The Denver Broncos just added a whole portfolio of new partners, among those being FanDuel and MGM. Other venues around professional sports will see this and want to be involved as well.