Three years ago, the thought of a US sports arena that included plans for a sportsbook that fans could access during games would have been unthinkable. But that’s exactly what Ted Leonsis, owner of the the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals, has planned for the Capitol One Arena in Washington D.C.

According to a report on CalvinAyre.com, Leonsis recently purchased the Green Turtle, a sports bar that’s based inside the Capitol One Arena, through a company he owns called, Monumental Sports & Entertainment.

While speaking recently at the Sports Betting Executive Summit, Leonsis dropped the news that the Green Turtle will include a sportsbook saying, “There will be a sportsbook inside the building accessible from the outside and depending on the league and depending on the event, it might be accessible from the inside as well.”

Leonsis, it will not surprise you to hear, is both supportive of – and tied to – the gambling industry. His holdings include a major investment in DraftKings. But Leonsis is also a realist who told the gathered crowd that the stigma surrounding sports betting has to go, “You can’t hide your head in the sand. When we were building chat rooms and instant messaging (at AOL), we never thought they a foreign government would be able to try to influence an election,” he said.

Leonsis’ ambitious plan for integrating sports betting into a sports facility is a major step forward both for US professional sports leagues and the US sports betting industry as a whole.

So far there’s no word on when the sportsbook inside the Green Turtle is set to become operational.


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