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Lerner Reaches Deal With MGM For Nationals Park Sportsbook

The Center Field Social space at the N Street SE entrance to Nationals Park will be turned into a sportsbook.

The home of the Washington Nationals will soon feature a sportsbook, the latest facility planned following D.C.'s legalization of sports betting.

Lerner Sports Group, the owner of the Nationals, reached a deal with BetMGM to open a sportsbook at Nationals Park, the parties announced Monday. 

The sportsbook is planned to open in the space currently serving as Center Field Social, near the ballpark's northern entrance at the N Street SE and Half Street intersection. The parties didn't announce when it will open.

The venue will be open to the public, but it won't be accessible to fans in attendance at a game, who can instead place bets using the BetMGM mobile app. The deal included the launch of the app within the park and the surrounding area, plus additional branding placement for MGM.

The deal expands the relationship between the Nationals and MGM, which already operates an eight-seat luxury sports box, the MGM National Harbor Dugout Club. The deal is BetMGM's most in-depth partnership with a team, the company said in the announcement. 

"The BetMGM mobile app will enable our fans to engage with the game in new and exciting ways, while the BetMGM Sportsbook connected to Nationals Park will provide Nationals fans and the D.C. community with a first-class gathering place to celebrate their passion for sports together," Lerner Sports Group Chief Operating Officer Alan Gottlieb said in the release. 

The deal continues the growth of D.C.'s sportsbook market, which began forming after the District passed a law in December 2018 to legalize sports betting. The law came after the U.S. Supreme Court in May 2018 struck down a law outlawing sports betting outside Nevada. 

Monumental Sports in August opened a temporary sportsbook at Capital One Arena, and it generated over 113,000 bets totaling more than $12M in September, ESPN reported. Monumental is partnering with British bookmaking giant William Hill to open a permanent sportsbook in the former Greene Turtle space at the arena. 

D.C. United is partnering with Fanduel on a sportsbook facility at Audi Field, with plans to open this year. 

Sports betting facilities can also open in retail locations. New sportsbook company Handle19 signed a lease in May to open a bar, restaurant and gambling facility in a 6K SF space at 319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Cordish Cos. told Bisnow in May it is planning to open a sportsbook in D.C., and retail experts have said they expect more sports betting facilities to open in the District.