The nation’s capital will soon become a sports betting haven within the Beltway region, and billionaire Ted Leonsis can’t wait to get started.
The owner of Washington D.C.’s professional hockey and basketball teams – the Capitals and Wizards, respectively – made headlines in March when he announced that an onsite sportsbook would be built within the teams’ shared Capital One Arena.
In the wake of sports betting passage, Leonsis told local media outlet WTOP in January that he envisions a full-scale luxury sportsbook to become a prominent attraction at Capital One Arena:
“My expectation is that there will be built a very, very high-end world-class restaurant called the Sports Book, there will be televisions showing games from all over the world and that people will be able to come in and watch games and dine and bet.
I want to make it like an Apple Genius bar. I don’t want to make it a cocktail lounge.”
Capital Takes Fast Track to Regulate Sports Betting
That news capped off a whirlwind few months for the District, where city lawmakers successfully passed the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act in December only weeks after the bill was introduced.
One month later, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser signed the bill into law, and by February, the implementation process was “fast-tracked” via a vote to designate the city’s lottery provider Intralot as the sole operator of online/mobile sportsbook services.
The District of Columbia Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board is eyeing the start of NFL football this Fall to launch brick and mortar sportsbooks.