William Hill Expands D.C. Presence With Mobile Sports Wagering

William Hill, which has quickly overtaken GambetDC as the top handle generator for legalized sports betting in Washington D.C. despite a late start and no online presence, pressed its advantage with Tuesday’s announcement that it has launched mobile wagering in the nation’s capital.

Bettors, though, will still have to venture near Capital One Arena, where William Hill’s retail book is located, since the mobile app will only work in a two-block radius around the arena and not inside federal buildings. The D.C. law allows for a two-block “exclusion zone” for operators at pro sports venues where only the platform associated with the arena is available. The only citywide mobile option is the D.C. Lottery’s GamBetDC, which is also banned on federal property.

William Hill, the British-based sportsbook acquired by Caesars Entertainment for $3.7 billion in November, opened its retail spot at the arena in July and is expected to have a full-service sportsbook at the home of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals in early 2021.

William Hill entered an exclusive agreement with Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Wizards, Capitals, and WNBA’s Washington Mystics, to be its exclusive sportsbook partner in October 2019.

Bettors showing preference for William Hill over Gambet

Even with COVID-19 restrictions, bettors in the nation’s capital have shown a willingness to make the trip to Capital One Arena to place wagers despite the online availability of GambetDC. William Hill accounted for $13.7 million of the District of Columbia’s $17.6 million handle in November in the most recent reports released by the district’s Office of Lottery and Gaming.

In addition to being the preferred platform, bettors are placing substantially higher wagers through William Hill than GamBetDC. The average wager placed at Capital One Arena in November was $105.40 on slightly more than 130,000 wagers compared to $34.36 on more than 113,000 bets through GambetDC, which uses Intralot as its platform.

Despite not taking its first bet until July 31, nine weeks after GambetDC accepted its first wager, William Hill has surged past its competitor and accounted for 77.4% of the $63.8 million in total handle since May. William Hill has also accepted more bets than GambetDC, with over 457,000 wagers placed at its retail location compared to more than 424,000 through GambetDC from May-November.

The overall average wager placed through November at William Hill was $108.03 compared to $34.05 via GambetDC.

William Hill is now live online in eight U.S. jurisdictions, including Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, and West Virginia.

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