Elys Game Technology, an interactive gaming and sports betting technology company, has partnered with the Cloakroom Gentlemen’s Club DC to launch the industry’s first sportsbook in a strip club in Washington, D.C.
The project was granted a Standard Class B Joint Venture Sports Wagering Operator License by the District of Columbia’s Office of Lottery and Gaming and commenced sportsbook operations at the Over Under Sportsbook Rooftop Lounge on December 29.
“We are delighted to have been granted the first joint venture license with our partners at Cloakbook to commence sports wagering services within the Cloakroom Gentlemen’s Club and the Over Under rooftop lounge, our second small business sportsbook installation in Washington, D.C.,” stated Michele Ciavarella, Executive Chairman of Elys Game Technology. “Elys firmly believes that this segment of retail sports betting within neighborhood establishments could become a key driver for local employment and economic recovery at the community level throughout the United States and Canada. This retail distribution model offers an alternative to mobile betting that has not commonly existed in the United States other than very limited access in a few grandfathered states prior to the repeal of PASPA in 2018. We are very grateful for the patience and determination of our partners at Cloakbook and the detailed oversight of the Department of Small and Local Business Development (“DSLDB”) and DCOLG, and along with our experiences at Grand Central Restaurant and Sportsbook (“Grand Central”) that helped us identify areas of improvement needed to maintain compliance, public safety and provide an effective end-to-end sportsbook solution for our small business partners. We look forward to scaling our U.S. expansion through ongoing collaborations with these partnerships to foster the viable and long-lasting economic advancement of the small and local business community.”
“We are eagerly looking forward to commencing our sportsbook operations within the Cloakroom and all-new Over Under lounge on the rooftop above the club, and to provide a whole new experience to our patrons in D.C.”, stated Tony Cavasilios, Managing Member of Cloakbook, LLC. “This new venture has given us the opportunity to create 15 new jobs in D.C. and offer customers a chance to parlay an evening of enjoying a meal and beverage in the Over Under lounge while wagering on their favorite team, and to top it off with a celebration within the award-winning Cloakroom Gentlemen’s Club. After a long process that started for us almost two years ago, we have gained a deep respect for the compliance framework of installing the sportsbook and the importance of working closely with regulators to provide not only a great product but also a safe environment for our customers to play their wagers. The Elys installation and technology teams were simply outstanding and walked us through the arduous process step-by-step, helping us to navigate the challenges of setting up this comprehensive sportsbook within our business establishment and we are thrilled to provide this ancillary service for our well-established patron relationships.”
The Cloakbook establishment ushers in a new licensing framework developed through extensive cooperation and collaborative efforts of Elys, Cloakroom, the DSLDB and the DCOLG and the experiences gained through the Grand Central operation. This licensing framework, pioneered in the District of Columbia, could set a precedent model for other states and jurisdictions to replicate economic opportunities of neighborhood sportsbooks in the community. In connection with the new licensing framework with Cloakbook, and to continue the success of our first small business deployment at Grand Central in the Adams Morgan district, Elys expects to play a key role in the community business ecosystem by hosting bi-annual seminars on the process of being licensed for sports wagering, dedicating a section of the Company’s website at www.elysgame.com to list subcontracting opportunities for D.C. Certified Business Entities directly related to management of the sportsbook, communication through e-mail alerts from Elys directly to the CBE community for relevant contract opportunities related to sports wagering, participating in events that the DSLBD may host throughout the year as it relates to sports wagering, and among other ancillary services – aid local businesses by serving a mentorship role for the duration of the partnerships to provide support and training to each establishment in D.C.