Capital One Arena has converted its box office into a sportsbook, making it the first professional sports arena in the United States to offer full-service betting.
The sportsbook is also the first to open in Washington, D.C., The Washington Post reports.
Bookmaker William Hill converted ticket windows into betting windows and kiosks that started accepting wagers on college and professional sports Friday afternoon. The box office location is temporary as construction continues on a permanent sportsbook inside the arena.
Big step in sports betting
With the Wizards and Capitals playing away from home in the NBA and NHL bubbles, William Hill moved forward with the temporary location to take advantage of sports starting back up.
“It was really driven by the announcement of when sports would resume,” William Hill CEO Joe Asher told the Post last week. “Baseball just started up, and the NBA and NHL are starting again. ... And so with sports back, we wanted to try to get a temporary facility open as soon as we could.”
The betting windows opened up in time for the Wizards’ Friday debut in the NBA bubble, which resulted in a 125-112 loss to the Phoenix Suns. Sports betting was legalized in Washington in 2018. Bettors will be able to make wagers seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.
The permanent sportsbook will take up two stories inside the arena and be open during Capitals and Wizards game as well as other events hosted in the arena. Friday’s opening marks a significant step in the continued embrace of gambling by sports leagues after 2018’s landmark Supreme Court decision opening the path to legal sports betting.
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