The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC) yesterday lent its approval for FedExField to build an on-property sportsbook.
Home to the NFL Washington Commanders, FedExField is in Landover, Md. The professional sports stadium was included in Maryland’s legalization of sports betting, which Governor Larry Hogan (R) signed into law in May 2021.
The MLGCC during its Wednesday meeting this week found Maryland Stadium Sub, LLC, suitable to conduct retail sports betting.
Stadium Sub, LLC, was incorporated last September for the purpose of operating a sports wagering facility at FedExField. The entity is solely owned by Dan Snyder, the billionaire who controls the NFL Commanders team and FedExField.
Maryland Lottery officials have recommended that the state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) issue Stadium Sub a sports betting facility license. SWARC is scheduled to meet next week on August 17.
Once SWARC issues Stadium Sub its sports betting license, the venue will work with Maryland Lottery and Gaming staff to prepare for the launch of its sports betting operations. Snyder and the Washington NFL franchise hope to have on-site sports betting sometime this regular season.
Stadium Sportsbook Outside Gates
The NFL prohibits its franchises from allowing gambling to occur inside its stadiums. But the league — once adamantly opposed to sports betting — continues to ease its opposition to gambling.
Since the NFL in May 2018 lost its legal fight to keep single-game sports betting limited to Nevada, the league has embraced sports betting and the gaming industry as a whole. The league today permits teams to partner with casinos, something that wasn’t the case prior to 2018, and also sportsbooks like BetMGM and DraftKings.
But one area the league remains opposed to is allowing sportsbooks and sports wagering kiosks to operate inside stadiums. However, the NFL says teams can have sportsbooks on their stadium campuses so long as the wagering facilities remain outside of the ticketed areas.
The NFL additionally allows fans inside the stadiums to place sports bets on their mobile devices in states where online sports wagering is legal.
Stadium Sub/FedExField is partnered with FanDuel for its brick-and-mortar and online sports wagering business.
Snyder Talks Stadium Upgrades
The Washington Commanders hope a sportsbook just outside its gates will increase fan turnout this year. The NFL team last year ranked dead last among the league’s 32 teams in ticket sales and second-to-last in ticket revenue, per Sportico.
Snyder, appearing before the MLGCC this week, said he’s optimistic for the upcoming season and believes the numerous stadium upgrades, including a sportsbook, will be well-received by fans.
We’ve dramatically upgraded [the stadium]. We’re encouraging everyone to come to see all the changes we’ve done to the stadium. We’re going to have some big-time attendance,” Snyder told the lottery and gaming regulators.
FedExField is one of the oldest NFL stadiums still in use. The stadium opened in 1997 as Jack Kent Cooke Stadium. After Snyder bought the team from the Cooke estate in 1999 for $800 million, he sold the stadium rights to FedEx and the venue was renamed that same year.
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