William Hill Heralds New Era for US Sports Betting
It’s been a momentous few days for William Hill as it continues to push its operations across the US.
First, there was the announcement of a partnership agreement with the NBA, effectively giving William Hill the right to use official NBA betting data and league marks across its channels.
Now it’s set to open the first sportsbook at a US professional sports venue, the Capital One Arena in Washington DC, thanks to a deal with Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Washington Wizards (NBA), Capitals (NHL) and Mystics (WNBA) franchises.
Under the deal, William Hill will become the exclusive betting partner of all three teams, which is hardly a US-first as sports leagues and their teams have been partnering with gambling operators at a gathering pace since the repeal of PASPA in May 2018.
What makes this deal so ground-breaking is that the sportsbook will be located inside a professional sports stadium, further evidence of the rapid development of the US legal sports betting market following the Supreme Court’s repeal of PASPA.
Monumental Chairman Ted Leonsis has been one of the biggest proponents of legalized sports betting for several years now and is eager to capitalize on new revenue opportunities, so it’s a fitting move. Under the deal, he will receive rent from William Hill but no cut of revenue or commissions off gambling profits.
“Monumental is dedicated to bringing the latest technology and innovation into our arena and delivering extraordinary experiences to our fans,” explained Leonsis. “We are excited to partner with William Hill, the industry leader in sports betting, to become the first professional sports arena in the US to feature a sportsbook.”
“This sportsbook will be a flagship venue for the industry and will serve the sports fans of the Washington DC area unlike any other,” added Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US. “Partnering with Ted Leonsis and the entire Monumental team was ideal.
“They share our vision and principles for bringing innovative sports betting opportunities to fans in a responsible way. This deal sets a new benchmark for how the industry will serve fans and how fans engage in sports.”
Construction of the sportsbook is expected to begin after the deal passes all required regulatory approvals. It will span multiple floors, be open daily, year-round, and allow the option to wager on a William Hill app inside the arena – as permitted by a Washington DC sports betting bill.
Legal sports betting in DC on hold
Both companies have yet to confirm a launch date for the sportsbook and they are waiting on a court case, scheduled for October 18th, that is threatening to derail the roll out of sports betting in DC.
Allegations of corruption in a no-bid process for the District’s sports gambling contract have resulted in an injunction against Intralot, the company that was hired to establish sports wagering in the jurisdiction.
Still, that hasn’t stopped interested parties from moving forward with sports betting in the nation’s capital and Major League Soccer team DC United is also planning on installing a sportsbook at Audi Field.
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