William Hill Opens D.C. Sportsbook

William Hill welcomed fans to its new sportsbook inside Washington, D.C.’s Capital One Arena (ribbon cutting at left). A televised game followed a playoff contest between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Washington Wizards.

William Hill Sportsbook opened its permanent location inside Capital One Arena last month, the first of its kind in the U.S. The arena is home to the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals.

The two-story, 18,000 square foot sportsbook features 17 betting windows and 12 self-service kiosks. It also includes a broadcast studio, two VIP areas, and a private dining and entertainment space. Nicholas Stefanelli, a Michelin-starred chef, and owner of restaurants in D.C. including Masseria and Officina, provides food and beverage, according to CDC Gaming Reports.

“Providing a data-driven, technologically advanced environment in a beautiful approachable space with fine dining options provided by Chef Stefanelli will further enhance the indelible memories we create nightly at Capital One Arena and draw even more visitors to our historic downtown D.C. neighborhood,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder and CEO Ted Leonsis in a statement.

The Athletics’ Sean Shapiro said this could become a trend in sports betting. “How quickly it impacts other venues and teams will depend greatly on state and local approval for projects like this,” Shapiro wrote.

The first game was game three of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs between the Wizards and the Philadelphia 76ers. NBA commissioner Adam Silver and 76ers owner Josh Harris toured the sportsbook prior to the game.

Bettors who arrived early bet on the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea. After the 76ers game, some customers hung around to catch the Jazz and Grizzlies game, according to ESPN.

“The place was busy and had energy,” said Dan Shapiro, William Hill vice president of strategy and business. “The great thing to see was the energy in the venue.”

The 76ers game represented 40 percent of the money wagered on the NBA at the sportsbook on the day, but overall, the sportsbook lost money. William Hill operated from the arena’s box office while the venue was being built.