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First Sportsbook opens at the premier Pro Sports Arena in Washington


The first full-service sportsbook in a major sports arena or stadium in the United States has been opened in Washington

WASHINGTON – The first full-service sportsbook in a major sports arena or stadium in the United States on Wednesday opened its doors to the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Capitals home.

The Capital One Arena arrives directly during the Wizards playoff game from the William Hill Sportsbook, without fans needing to leave the building. If the NHL adjusts its policies this possibility exists when the Capitals return to the ice.

The New Jersey Devils opened a “lounge” lounge inside the Prudential Center in Newark in October 2018, but it is only able to show odds with bookmakers able to place bets on the mobile application. There state restrictions limit individual bets for casinos or racetracks.

Caesar CEO Tom Reig called it an important moment for sports betting. Kaiser bought William Hill in April.

“This is the first integrated sports book in a physical stadium in the country, so this is the new paradigm,” Reig said. “This is where (sports betting is) going.”

Ted Leonis, owner of Capitals, Wizards and Arena, hopes to continue to capitalize on the growing acceptance of legitimate sports betting in the US and remove the stigma of gambling.

“Fans come into the arena and they now have the ability to have a core interest in the outcome of the game, if you want,” Leonis said. “I see it as a natural extension of what was happening, but to do it in a more modern – in a transparent way, in sunlight.”

Leonis is betting that it will be the first of many nationwide.

“You’ll see a lot of other arenas, a lot of other leagues are insisting on gas to do that,” he said. “Because of that, we know that we are an exemplary and everyone is going to see how well we perform.”

The first opportunity for fans to move from an arena to a sportsbook comes on Saturday when the Wizards face the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series.

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More AP Sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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