The home of the NFL’s Washington Commanders is on a short list to host Maryland’s next in-person sportsbook. But recent explorations made by Commanders owner Daniel Snyder into selling the team could impact the timeline.
Regulators optimistic about FedEx Field sportsbook
It’s been nearly a year since the launch of in-person sports betting in Maryland. Although online sports wagering received approval at the same time, it has still not launched. However, signs of a launch before 2023 look promising.
Even with the latest Snyder news, FedEx Field is well-positioned to offer sports betting. The sportsbook could realistically open as early as this November or December.
During a public meeting on Oct. 27, state gaming regulators were optimistic that FedEx Field and two off-track betting locations were close to being able to debut retail sportsbooks. In fact, one of those two OTB parlors — Greenmount Station OTB — launched Maryland’s eighth in-person sportsbook the very next day.
One state gaming official confirmed in last month’s meeting that the process continues moving forward:
“All three of these entities are completing facility construction or are working through operational requirements with Maryland Lottery and Gaming staff and are expected to launch sports wagering operations in the near future.”
FedEx Field 1 of 17 potential Maryland retail sportsbook locations
FedEx Field, through an entity known as Maryland Stadium Sub LLC, was initially approved for a land-based sports betting license in August and officially qualified for a license on Oct. 27. Regulators could grant the facility and its sportsbook operator final approval as early as Nov. 16.
Although the Commanders already have an online sports betting agreement in place with FanDuel for Virginia, the new retail sportsbook will be operated by none other than sports merchandising giant Fanatics.
The 68,000-seat stadium in Landover will be the first professional sports facility in Maryland to house a retail sportsbook. It will also mark the very first Fanatics sportsbook in the nation.
FedEx Field is one of 17 locations in Maryland’s sports betting law earmarked as viable retail sports betting locations. M&T Bank Stadium (NFL’s Baltimore Ravens) and also Oriole Park at Camden Yards (MLB’s Baltimore Orioles) are also identified in the law. Neither venue has submitted a license application.
The law allows for up to 47 brick-and-mortar and 60 mobile sports gambling licenses to be awarded.
Sale of Commanders could complicate timeline
State gaming regulators found Snyder and Maryland Stadium Sub qualified for a retail sports betting license. However, Maryland Stadium Sub has only one principal owner – Snyder.
News broke earlier this week that Snyder is exploring options to sell the team.
A sale of the Commanders and the stadium could complicate the launch of a FedEx Field sportsbook, given Snyder’s role with the qualified entity.
This shouldn’t pose too much of a threat to the timeline, though. The sportsbook could technically begin taking wagers while a sale is going on. Maryland gaming regulators would simply have to repeat the licensing process with the team’s new owner(s).