Wizards and Capitals to Leave Washington D.C.

Betting Review as of December 13, 2023, 03:29h.  Last Updated on: December 13, 2023, 03:29h.

Avatar photoWashington’s teams, the NBA and NHL franchises, are in discussions about relocating from the nation’s capital. The potential move would take the teams to a new facility in Northern Virginia.

Capital One Arena in Washington, DC, was the first US sports arena to host an on-site retail sportsbook. Now its marquee tenants want to leave for the suburbs. (Image: DC Post)

Officials, including Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) and team owner Ted Leonsis, have proposed to construct a new arena complex in Alexandria, Va., for the Washington Wizards and Capitals. This would be a few miles from their current location in central Washington, DC, at Capital One Arena. If plans proceed as expected, the new arena is set to start being built in 2025, with the teams moving by 2028, pending state and local government approvals. The DC government is also working to persuade Leonsis to reconsider the move.

Monumental Sports and Entertainment, the organization managing the team and arena, anticipates keeping Capital One Arena operational as the home of the WNBA Washington Mystics, as well as a venue for concerts and events year-round.

Implications for Sports Betting

Caesars Sportsbook inside Capital One Arena is the most profitable of its kind in DC. There are uncertainties surrounding its future once the teams depart.

The retail sports betting facility at the Capital One Arena had a handle of nearly $6 million in October, surpassing all other retail sportsbooks in the District of Columbia. The second largest handle for that month was approximately $3.3 million from the Bet MGM sportsbook at Nationals Park, home of the city’s MLB franchise.

While it’s possible that the sportssbook at Capital One Arena may see reduced patronage after the teams’ departure, its prime spot near the central business district of Washington, DC should continue to attract foot traffic. This is evident from the fact that, even during the NHL and NBA off-season, Capital One Arena drew more punters than any other venue in DC.

Potential for Sports Betting in Virginia

The proposed facility in Virginia is being promoted as a “World-Class Entertainment District,” with plans for a new arena, corporate headquarters for Monumental Sports & Entertainment, team practice facilities, a performing arts venue, and additional development. While no mention has been made about introducing a sportsbook at the arena, Virginia’s legal sports betting may lead to the establishment of one. Caesars, a licensed vendor in Virginia since 2021, is currently available only online.

Virginia has not previously considered in-arena sportsbooks, but it is possible that they may be proposed for the new site. Sports betting has been on the rise in the US, and having a major professional sports franchise would aid the growth of the industry in Virginia, the most populous US state without one.

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