Maryland Sports Betting for Washington Commanders FedExField Approved

Posted on: August 11, 2022, 12:33h. 

Last updated on: August 11, 2022, 08:08h.

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC) yesterday lent its approval for FedExField to build an on-property sportsbook. The MLGCC found Maryland Stadium Sub, LLC, suitable for retail sports betting during its Wednesday meeting.

Maryland Lottery sports betting Washington Commanders
FedExField, home of the NFL Washington Commanders, seen above. This week, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission deemed the NFL venue qualified to build an on-property sportsbook. (Image: Washington Commanders)

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.

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 Aug. 17. It has the final say on the license.

Stadium Sub, LLC, was incorporated last September to operate a sports wagering facility at FedExField. The entity is solely owned by Dan Snyder, the billionaire who controls the NFL Commanders team and FedExField.

Once SWARC issues Stadium Sub its sports betting license, the venue will work with Maryland Lottery and Gaming staff to prepare for its sports betting operations launch. 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.

The NFL lost its legal fight to keep single-game sports betting limited to Nevada in May 2018. Since then, the league has embraced sports betting and the gaming industry as a whole. The league today permits teams to partner with casinos and sportsbooks like BetMGM and DraftKings. That wasn’t the case before the 2018 Supreme Court decision that defined the legal status of sports betting.

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 if the wagering facilities remain outside 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.