Update 6:10pm: Mark Segraves of NBC 4 is reporting that while a sportsbook is coming to Capital One Arena, it may not be at The Greene Turtle location.
“You may have heard some chatter about Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Caps, saying he was going to put a sportsbook inside The Greene Turtle restaurant behind me on the first floor of Capital One Arena,” Segraves said. “I talked to a representative for Mr. Leonsis who says he never said anything of the sort today. He is committed to having the sportsbook inside Capital One Arena. He just hasn’t decided where it will be inside the building and what it will look like.”
Original story: Darren Rovell is reporting that the space at Capital One Arena occupied by The Greene Turtle Bar & Grill will be turned into a sportsbook. Wednesday morning at the Sports Betting Executive Summit panel held by the American Gaming Association, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis spoke about the coming change.
JUST IN: Washington Capitals & Wizards owner Ted Leonsis says Green Turtle bar inside Capital One Arena will turn into a sportsbook. Will be able to be entered from outside, on inside depending on sport. Will have operator that will create distance between team ownership. pic.twitter.com/4M6nE9vTEr
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 27, 2019
“There will be a sportsbook in the building, accessible from outside, depending on the league, depending on the event, it might be accessible from the inside as well, and they’ll place bets,” Leonsis said.
The Greene Turtle’s last day will be April 9th, which is the last game of the Washington Wizards’ regular season. The Washington Times reports that the venue will be open on postseason games days as “The Shell Raiser Lounge.” They will sell food and beverages in an “open gathering space.”
Rovell adds that the sportsbook will have an operator that will create distance between the venue and team ownership.
The Greene Turtle had three years remaining on its current lease when Monumental Sports & Entertainment bought it out earlier this year to “develop a proprietary business concept,” Greg Pitkoff, a spokesperson for The Greene Turtle told DCist earlier this month. One clarification from Leonsis is that he didn’t foresee opening a sportsbook until the end of 2019.
Leonsis told the Washington Post in January that the biggest sportsbooks in DC could be at Capital One Arena and Nats Park, explaining “I could see someone comes here for lunch, someone gets here at 5 o’clock, they’re watching other games, they’re placing their bets.”
With the DC council passing legislation to legalize sports betting in December, that may become the new reality.
“They’ll be in that venue, that’s where we’ll settle up, that where game,” Leonsis told the summit. “You heard today in the introduction that MasterCard, and Worldpay, everyone’s looking at how we settle, in real time, these bets.”
This also comes at a time when the NHL has a new betting partnership with MGM Resorts. The NBA has a similar deal in place with MGM Resorts.
“I don’t think people are going to come to us and say, ‘Your guy missed a three-point shot, I didn’t cover the spread,'” Leonsis explained. “They’re going to have to go, ‘ugh, I got to go settle my bet there.’ Which they’re doing now, but off-shore.”
Headline image: @thegreeneturtle
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