Cloakroom Gentlemen’s Club plans to launch its retail sportsbook this week in Washington, D.C., while touting itself as the first sportsbook inside a strip club in the U.S.
At 4 p.m. Thursday, the location will hold a “soft launch” for a small gathering, and the general public can access the sportsbook starting Friday, according to a Cloakroom spokesperson. Cloakroom’s joint venture, Cloakbook, which was formed with Elys Game Technology, received its sports wagering operator license Tuesday.
“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.,” Tony Cavasilios, managing member of Cloakbook, said in a press release.
Elys hopeful for retail future
Elys Game Technology also powers another retail sportsbook in Washington, D.C. The owner of that location, a popular bar in Adams Morgan called Grand Central, has raved about the benefit of adding legal sports wagering. Grand Central is a destination for Buffalo Bills fans, making sports betting a natural fit, especially on NFL Sundays.
“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,” Michele Ciavarella, the executive chairman of Elys Game Technology, said in a press release.
Ciavarella is hopeful that more states and jurisdictions will start leaning into retail sports betting options. Ohio may become a trendsetter in the industry, as hundreds of businesses are expected to introduce sports betting kiosks in 2023, including bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, and grocery stores.
Elys’ stock price jumped Tuesday after the D.C. news was released, although it’s still trading at under $1.
— Market Wire News (@marketwirenews) December 27, 2022
“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,” Ciavarella said.
Cavasilios spoke highly of Elys’ help with the process of launching sports betting at his business.
“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,” Cavasilios said.
Rooftop bar for bettors
Cloakroom’s rooftop bar is expected to become a gathering point for bettors once sports wagering goes live at the location. Called the Over Under Sportsbook Rooftop Lounge, the bar features wall-to-wall televisions and a seasonal cocktail menu.
Located at 476 K Street NW, it also has large windows, “futuristic” LED lighting, and a retractable roof over the bar.
“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,” Cavasilios said.
Cloakroom’s website says it’s committed to a policy of responsible gaming. The location will be an interesting case study, as it says it’s the first of its kind in the U.S. mixing adult entertainment with food, drinks, and wagers.
DC will have first in-stadium book in US, first sports betting kiosk in a strip club, but probably be the last jurisdiction to provide help for people w problems. Doesn't seem to bother DC govt or any of the DC sportsbook operators or their club & team partners…
— TheKeithWhyte (@TheKeithWhyte1) August 23, 2022