MSE's Leonsis: DC sportsbook expects $250M in bets over first year

Monumental Sports & Entertainment Chair & CEO Ted Leonsis's first sports betting play "appears to have found the right ingredients," according to Michael Silverman of the BOSTON GLOBE. Leonsis said that the Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill inside DC's Capital One Arena "is expected to take in $250 million in bets" in its first 12 months. Leonsis said, "It's the fastest-growing new business in Washington, D.C." Leonsis said after he presented the DC sportsbook concept at the NBA owners’ meetings, “Nine owners said, ‘Thank you, we were scared, we wanted someone else to go first. Can we come down and understand and see what you’ve done?’" Even if the Wizards or Capitals are playing on weekend nights, Leonsis "wants to use the arena’s empty seats in the daytime for patrons to watch the NFL, Premier League soccer, or cricket games broadcast on the arena’s main video screen, with betting kiosks nearby." Meanwhile, Leonsis still believes casual bettors "need an Apple Genius Bar-type of resource to help them understand the process and make it friendlier." He also concedes that sports books, as well as esports, "need to be more welcoming to families, especially women." Leonsis also emphasizes that resources "need to be used to provide help and hotlines for problem gamblers and that leagues have to place a priority on technological and human integrity safeguards to prevent a calamitous scandal." Leonsis believes that the "more leagues can keep up with the times and think of themselves as technology companies that produce content and embrace sports betting partnerships, the better" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/8).

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