Washington Commanders Apply For Maryland Sports Betting License

Posted on August 10, 2022 - Last Updated on August 23, 2022

NFL team owner Dan Snyder met virtually with the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission this week to discuss the potential of permitting sports betting at Washington Commanders home games.

Washington Commanders want sportsbook at FedEx Field

Commanders owner Dan Snyder joined Wednesday’s MLGCC meeting via phone call, where he thanked the commission for their continued work. He added that the Washington Commanders “finally have ourselves a quarterback” and are eager to launch a sportsbook at FedEx Field, the team’s home stadium.

Snyder originally met with the commission months earlier to begin the process of obtaining an A-1 betting license. The MLGCC then interviewed Snyder back in June as part of the state’s process of investigating all potential Maryland sportsbook applicants. His recent scandals, including the pending toxic culture and sexual harassment allegations against him, were of particular concern. But as sports betting regulator, their ability to research these claims remain limited.

Most recently, Snyder met with the House Oversight Committee in late July, following his infamous yacht trip abroad that conveniently protected him from being hit with an impending subpoena. While no transcript of his testimony is available, Snyder’s lawyer assured the MLGCC that it remained consistent with the answers he gave the commission in June.

The MLGCC noted that these “issues” were discussed. However, based solely on Snyder’s previous testimony and the information made readily available, the commission was “unable to substantiate any of the allegations against Mr. Snyder”.

Washington Commanders, FedEx Field & FanDuel

The Commanders have been gearing up for sports betting for quite sometime. With the 2021 launch of sports betting in Virginia, the team signed a partnership with FanDuel Sportsbook., which included new signage throughout FedEx Field.

Much like Virginia, Maryland is also giving preferential treatment to teams like the Commanders, and it looks like they’re taking advantage of the head start. FedEx Field was one of the 17 locations allowed to jumpstart the process of obtaining a sports betting license. And the Commanders are the first sports team to take the plunge.

Both the MLGCC and SWARC must approve an applicant before they can launch a sportsbook in the state, though. Since the MLGCC already voiced their approval with a 6-1 vote, Snyder’s information will advance to the SWARC, who will likely provide comment in their upcoming meeting.

So far, only six Maryland casinos offer retail sports betting, with Bingo World being the most recent addition. Meanwhile, Marylanders are still waiting on state regulators to legalize mobile betting.

BetFred & Chesapeake Gaming among other applicants

Although the Commanders were the largest name to apply for a betting license, the MLGCC also received
applications from BetFred and Chesapeake Gaming — both of which will operate in Northwest Maryland.

BetFred, the U.K.-based betting company, recently announced a partnership with Long Shot’s in Frederick, Maryland, so their application is not surprising. The MLGCC approved BetFred’s application 6-1.

Details about Chesapeake Gaming, on the other hand, remain a bit foggy. If granted, their license will be listed with the Jockey Bar and Grille. The restaurant is one of the 17 preapproved Maryland locations featured on SWARC’s map of licensees. In 2021, however, it closed due to COVID-19 and has yet to reopen. Jockey’s owners also own the entire event center where the bar was located, though, which opens up additional potential venue options. Despite the question of locale, the MLGCC ultimately approved their application 6-1. Chesapeake Gaming is now actively seeking an operator to sign with them.

Photo by Associated Press - Patrick Semansky
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Ethan Matthew

Ethan Matthew was born and raised in Silver Spring and has written articles for PlayVirginia and George Washington University's HNN. He also researched and wrote content for museum exhibits in both Boston and Washington, DC.

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