Elys Game Technology, an interactive gaming and sports betting technology company, and Grand Central LLC, an independently owned operator of the Grand Central Restaurant & Bar located in the Adams Morgan area of Washington, announced the grant by the District of Columbia’s Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) of a Class B Operator license to Grand Central to operate a sportsbook within the Grand Central Restaurant & Bar and of a provisional Class B Standard Management Services Provider License to Elys in conjunction with management services to be provided to Grand Central.

The Grand Central venue will offer sports betting alongside food and beverages providing a unique customer experience and is believed to be the first sportsbook of its kind to be operated within an independently owned business establishment in the US. The Class B license allows a full-service sportsbook with no restrictions on maximum bets to be wagered and where all winnings can be redeemed on-site.

Elys will provide Grand Central with the turn-key retail betting solution on POS and kiosk hardware as well as managed services to operate the sportsbook, including back-office and business intelligence, odds and event offerings, risk management and trading services, while both Elys and Grand Central will collaborate on customer-engagement campaigns, marketing, and any co-branding ventures. To allow sufficient time for staff training and hardware installation, it is expected that wagering on sports will be offered at Grand Central in or around October 2021 with the on-premise mobile app to be launched in 2022.

“We have been a part of the vibrant Adams Morgan neighborhood since Grand Central opened in 2007. We are looking forward to offering our customers an extraordinary experience to wager on their favorite teams while enjoying our signature dishes and beverages for lunch, dinner or gathering for team events and special games or even just dropping in to place a wager. We are very honored to have been approved as the first Class B licensed operator by the DC Office of Lottery and Gaming and believe that our establishment will serve as a showcase example for this operational model and a key role in the economic growth of this rooted residential and commercial neighborhood, as well as the greater DC area,” Brian Vasile, owner of Grand Central, said.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be granted our first US-based sports wagering license and are looking forward to launching our Elys Gameboard U.S. platform at Grand Central Restaurant & Bar, in Washington, DC. We also wish to recognise Brian Vasile, his partners and staff who worked tirelessly with our engineering team housed within our group technology subsidiary, Odissea, and our U.S. operations team to achieve this significant accomplishment,” Michele Ciavarella, Executive Chairman of Elys, said.

“For ages, sports events and championship games have been consumed and enjoyed the most in restaurants and bars, and we believe that the unique Class B classification established by the DC Office of Lottery and Gaming will pioneer an entirely new and exciting vertical where sports wagering could elevate the dining and gathering experience at bars and restaurants throughout North America. We also believe that this model could be adopted across multiple states to support local and growing businesses, and that Grand Central can become the quintessential model for operating a sportsbook within a business that is accessible by all fans of sports.”

Ciavarella continued: “With a low-cost of deployment and high scalability, our leading-edge micro-services technology is perfectly suited to operate sportsbooks in the massive network of small businesses across Canada and the U.S., and we believe small businesses could be a major contributor to local and regional economic development for years to come. The addition of US Bookmaking is expected to serve a key role in the product offering and bookmaking at Grand Central, as well as the potentially rapid expansion expected by Elys at small businesses across the country.”

Elys is operational in approximately 1200 venues throughout Italy, in both online and retail channels and is now live in 5 states with 6 tribal casinos and a restaurant bar. The Company is planning to process applications to offer sports wagering through its leading-edge betting platform to large and small casinos and independent business venues in the US and Canada representing one of the most exciting long-term growth opportunities for Elys. The provisional Standard Management Services Provider License granted to the Company expires August 26, 2022.