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Working & the Economy

Commanders’ sports-betting license at FedEx Field gets final OK

FedEx Field in Landover, home of Washington’s National Football League team since 1997. Photo by Bruce DePuyt.

By Jack Moore

The Washington Commanders’ bid for a sports-betting license at FedEx Field received final approval Wednesday.

The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission in Maryland approved the application for a Class A-1 sports-betting facility at the Landover, Maryland, stadium submitted by Commanders owner Dan Snyder.

Under Maryland law, the review commission can only approve sports-betting licenses it finds are in the public interest, which includes whether the proposal would enhance state fiscal resources, spur economic development and help regulate an otherwise-unregulated black market.

The commission’s vote to approve the application was unanimous with one abstention.

The review commission also approved an application from an outfit called Chesapeake Gaming, which runs an off-track betting parlor in Boonsboro, Maryland.

Maryland lottery officials still have to formally issue the license and are expected to oversee further administrative steps as the sportsbook rolls out.

The Commanders are expected to open a sports-betting lounge inside the stadium, similar to facilities in Capital One Arena and Nationals Park in D.C. Among NFL teams, the only other franchise with a similar setup is the Arizona Cardinals.

In a statement, the Commanders said, “Our organization is grateful for the time and effort by the State of Maryland and its leaders to develop a regulatory framework and review our application to operate a retail sportsbook at FedExField. We endorse the approach taken by leaders across Maryland to invite equitable and diverse participation in the legal sports wagering market, and we are looking forward to revealing more about our plans to stakeholders and fans alike in the weeks ahead.”

Last week, another body, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, voted 6-1 to approve Snyder’s license, after conducting an investigation into Snyder’s financial background and handling of the team.

“Several noteworthy issues involving the Washington Commanders, formally known as the Washington Football Team and the Washington Redskins, and the owner, Mr. Snyder, were identified,” said John Mooney, the managing director of Regulatory Oversight for the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, last week.

Snyder was interviewed by the lottery agency on June 8.

“During the meeting, the issues involving Mr. Synder and the Washington Commanders were discussed,” said Mooney. “Staff is unable to substantiate any of the allegations against Mr. Snyder.”

In addition, the lottery agency said Snyder “satisfies the standards for financial stability, integrity and responsibility” for the sports-betting application.

As part of Maryland Matters’ content sharing agreement with WTOP, we feature this article from Jack Moore. WTOP’s John Domen contributed. Click here for the WTOP News website.