Who’s ready to gamble? Now you can bet on the Washington Wizards

Washington Wizards Thomas Bryant (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Thomas Bryant (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

Instead of spending money to go watch the Washington Wizards, now you can go make money during their games at Capital One Arena.

In a truly monumental announcement, Ted Leonsis has put the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals at the forefront of sports gambling in the United States.

It was announced earlier this week that betting firm William Hill will set up shop in Capital One Arena, establishing the first sportsbook in America to be located inside of a major sporting venue. William Hill currently runs over 100 retail sports-betting outlets in the U.S., along with online betting. They also have a large presence in London.

The goal here is obvious: make money. I mean it’s gambling. Duh. Such a move has been rumored since The Green Turtle Bar and Grille that previously attached to the stadium closed its doors. Now it’s official.

However, Leonsis also mentioned that the new gambling regulations give them the opportunity to grow their fan base in a unique way. During a press conference with John Asher, William Hill’s chief executive officer for the US, Leonsis mentioned various studies that claim gambling creates a more informed and engaged fan base.

And it makes sense. You’re going to pay more attention to a game if there’s money on the line. You’ll probably stick around for games you otherwise wouldn’t watch if you can get a little extra cash as a result. While Leonsis’ Capitals might not need the help here, you certainly noticed some empty seats (and a lot of fans of the opponent) at Wizards games last season.

According to Leonsis, this move starts the “next chapter” of how we consume and enjoy sports. That’s right. Sports. Plural. Not just basketball or hockey. Once open, betters won’t be limited to the games going on in Capital One Arena. They won’t even be limited to the days on which DC teams are playing.

Next. Washignton Wizards are in good hands at point guard with Ish Smith. dark

The new sportsbook will be open for business as often as the regulations allow, letting patrons sacrifice their hard earned dollars on days when there’s no sports action in DC. They’ll have to wait, though, as the venue will not be open until 2020.