Caps Owner Leonsis Has Big Plans for D.C. Betting Options

By Jake Perper

March 1st, 2019 - 12:30pm

In December, the D.C. Council passed the final approval to legalize sports betting in the nation’s capital. That made it the first region to give residents and tourists the option to legally bet on professional sports teams, collegiate sports teams and sporting events.

The bill passed on an 11-2 on Dec. 18. The bill states that anyone 18 or older will be allowed to make a legal bet.

No casinos are in the D.C. “District” but the bill allows three separates ways for people to legally gamble. Sporting venues like the Capital One Arena or Nationals Park, private establishments like bars/restaurants and liquor stores in town. Also, the mobile/online app option will be available and controlled by the D.C. Lottery giving them the exclusive ownership of it all.

However, things have hit a speed bump.

Slip-ups in the process

Though the bill was signed into law, bettors cannot yet wager legally. That step will happen once a provider is approved and further regulatory measures are satisfied.

The D.C. government supports a no-bid contract to the existing lottery provider for the right to offer legal sports betting.

In-arena plans

Monumental Sports CEO Ted Leonsis, who owns Capital One Arena and its top tenants, the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards, has big plans for the betting options in D.C.

He laid out a vision of what the sports/entertainment venue should look like. This came well before the bill was passed in mid-December.

"It'll drive traffic throughout the day,” Leonsis told of his arena plans this year. “I don’t think 24 by seven, but we would like to be able to utilize where we're located in the city. I'm sure the (Washington Nationals) are looking at something similar."

The project's $15-million budget includes a new high-end sports betting-themed restaurant/bar, per an NBC Sports Washington report.

Monumental Sports has spent $40 million in Capital One Arena. By fall the building will feature a 360-degree video board, 390-foot, 7,000 square feet of LED Display and a 9,000 square-foot “SkyRing” screen going around the roofline of the arena bowl.

“By transitioning to a fully digital experience at Capital One Arena, our partners will have the ability to reach fans through more experiential, measurable and targeted content,” Monumental Sports President of Business Operations and COO Jim Van Stone said. “This best-in-class technology also allows our busy building to have a truly unique feel every night through both owned assets and sponsor-specific content on our digital signage networks.”

But until a provider is approved no bets will be made.
Written By
Jake Perper

Jake Perper covers gambling news for He has been a sports writer for a decade, covering every level of sports.

He’s currently the lead scout for Prep Hoops Florida based out of Tampa, Florida and has covered the Chicago Bears for the... Read More

Jake Perper covers gambling news for He has been a sports writer for a decade, covering every level of sports.

He’s currently the lead scout for Prep Hoops Florida...

.. Read More