The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission gave initial approval for three retail sports betting facility licenses Wednesday morning, including one for a sportsbook at FedEx Field, home of the NFL’s Washington Commanders.
Betfred, which will operate a retail sportsbook at Long Shot’s in Frederick, and Chesapeake Gaming, which plans to open a retail sportsbook at the Boonsboro Events Center off-track betting facility, were the other two entities to receive initial licensing approval.
The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) still needs to award licenses to the three entities before they can go through final facility checks with the lottery. Once those two steps are completed, the locations are allowed to launch their retail sportsbooks.
The retail facility license for FedEx Field and the Commanders came with the slightest bit of controversy Wednesday.
Lottery investigates Dan Snyder
Maryland Stadium Sub LLC is the name of the company that applied for the sports betting facility license at FedEx Field. That company is owned by Dan Snyder, who also owns the Commanders.
During a background investigation of Snyder, the lottery investigators found details that they deemed worthy of digging into for additional information, according to the lottery commission’s report. Among the top concerns were recent reports that Synder has fostered a toxic workplace for years in Washington. Former employees accused Snyder of sexual harassment, including an allegation dating back to 2009.
The lottery investigators interviewed Snyder on June 8, speaking to him and his attorneys. The lottery was unable to substantiate any of the allegations against Snyder, and he isn’t facing criminal charges.
As a result of the lack of criminal charges and the good financial standing, the lottery gave initial approval to Snyder and Maryland Stadium Sub.
“MLGCA’s investigation has confirmed that the Applicant has sufficient financial resources and found no derogatory information regarding the Applicant’s qualifications,” the report said.
Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder claims today:
– FedEx Field has been "dramatically upgraded"
– He expects "big-time attendance"
– and "We finally have ourselves a quarterback"
Snyder did not mention sportsbook plans during a brief address to Maryland gaming regulators
— Ryan Butler (@ButlerBets) August 10, 2022
The latest with mobile
With the NFL season approaching, some Marylanders are eagerly looking forward to the launch of legal mobile sportsbooks in the state. A SWARC meeting next Wednesday should provide more insights into the timeline for a mobile launch.
It’s expected that mobile sportsbooks will be allowed to launch in Maryland in either late 2022 or early 2023. It’s been a long journey toward mobile betting in Maryland, as voters approved a ballot measure supporting legal sports betting in 2020. Gov. Larry Hogan signed sports betting legislation into law in May 2021, yet Marylanders are still waiting for legal mobile sports betting platforms to go live.
Maryland’s law allows for up to 60 mobile licenses to be awarded. Expect major national operators like BetMGM, Barstool Sportsbook, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel to all launch online sportsbooks in the state once given approval. BetMGM, Barstool Sportsbook, Caesars, and FanDuel already have live retail sportsbooks available in Maryland.