One of the biggest emerging industries (thanks to new laws) in the country is taking another massive step, directly into a stadium near you.
On Monday, Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals, and BetMGM announced the opening of the BetMGM Sportsbook inside the Major League Baseball Stadium. The 4,000 square foot space will not only be open during Nationals' games, but 7 days a week from 11 am to midnight. The BetMGM location is next to the center field gate and is the first active retail sportsbook connected to an MLB stadium. The sportsbook features six betting windows, rows of kiosks, 40 televisions, a bar and a kitchen.
“The BetMGM Sportsbook at Nationals Park represents the newest way in which we are providing our fans with the best experiences in sports and entertainment,” said Alan Gottlieb, chief operating officer of Lerner Sports which owns the Nationals, in a statement. “Upon its opening, the sportsbook immediately becomes one of the neighborhood’s premier venues for both the savvy bettor and casual fan to watch the top events in an upscale and electric atmosphere.”
Nationals Park joins Capital One Arena as the two District venues with on-site betting. Last year, William Hill opened a sportsbook at Capital One Arena, home of the Wizards and Capitals.
On the same day this was announced, news broke that FanDuel would be opening a two-story in-arena sportsbook lounge at the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks.
Located adjacent to the United Center atrium, the book is designed to ensure no fan misses out on the action as it would be equipped with state-of-the-art viewing and sports wagering technology, as well as a full-service team ready to deliver a personalized customer experience.
The market of sports betting has always been in demand, but new laws have now exploded the industry, and sportsbooks popping up in stadiums in betting-legal states in the next progression.
While some purists won't enjoy fans leaving their seats during a game to head to the sportsbook, the fact is it speaks to the wider sports-viewing experience today's society craves. Fans will still watch games and live and die on every second spent rooting on their teams. Why shouldn't he be able to leave his seats during a bad inning, or quarter, and still be entertained by sport. I for one am a huge fan for having even more options, especially for the exorbitant ticket prices teams and leagues are currently charging. The sports betting industry is growing and it's here to stay. Why not enjoy it?
One thing is for sure, sporting events are about to get a whole lot more exciting.