NFL owners approved the sale of the Washington Commanders Thursday, paving the way for Joshua Harris to take over the organization from longtime owner Dan Snyder.
While the $6 billion transaction was huge news in the league, it also has some Maryland sports betting implications, as well.
As part of the deal, the partnership led by Harris also takes over Maryland Stadium Sub, which holds retail and online sports betting licenses in the state. MSS is partnered with Fanatics Sportsbook at FedEx Field, as well as Fanatics Online Sportsbook, which went live this past month in Maryland.
Josh Harris takes over Commanders, Maryland Stadium Sub betting license
In a memo sent Thursday night, Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency Managing Director of Regulatory Oversight John Mooney, informed MLGCA staff of the change.
No action was needed, however, as Harris is currently qualified by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission. Two other individuals own more than a 5% stake, however, and are not qualified. The memo stated they would not have any control nor will they receive any sports betting profits from Maryland Stadium Sub until they are qualified. The individuals were not named in the memo.
The memo when on to state the following:
“NFL prohibits the disclosure of documents related to the sale of the Commanders until after the transaction closes. There is a desire to ensure continuity of sports wagering operations under both licenses after the transaction closes. MSS holds the two sports wagering licenses. It will continue to conduct sports wagering under Mr. Harris’ control. Mr. Harris has been found qualified by the Commission. Agency staff will investigate the transaction and present its findings to the Commission for approval as soon as practicable, in accordance with State Government Article § 9-1A-19, Annotated Code of Md.”
Fanatics sportsbook still new to Maryland sports betting
The Fanatics retail sportsbook at FedEx Field has handled more than $2.3 million in bets since opening in January, with $86,274 in taxable revenue.
Fanatics online sportsbook had its first full month of operation in June, and took $1.6 million in bets. It paid all but $329,237 of that out to bettors, but did not report any taxable win.
That handle was less than 1% of the $243.8 million in bets accepted at Maryland online sportsbooks in June. Fanatics is still in beta mode, but it has made its intentions clear to compete with the biggest sports betting brands across the country. Whether that’s possible likely won’t be able to be judged until the fall, when football season gets underway.
Harris does not own Fanatics, just the licensee that is working with the operator.