So far, Snyder has had far more success in Virginia.
Two bills up for a full chamber vote Monday in Richmond would guarantee the team a sports betting permit if it wanted one.
“He told me what he needed. I thought this was a good idea,” said Del. Mark D. Sickles (D-Fairfax), who sponsored one of the Virginia bills. Sickles said Snyder’s pitch included a mention of potential stadium sites in Virginia, but the lawmaker declined to elaborate.
Neither state has a legal sports betting industry. Snyder’s effort to get in on the ground floor is the most publicly known advocacy for a sports betting license by an NFL owner, noteworthy in a league that actively lobbied against the proliferation of wagering out of concern it would threaten the “integrity” of the game.
Sen. Jeremy S. McPike (D-Prince William) sponsored the other legislationin Virginia and said he considered it a way to entice any major league sports organization to the state, which currently is home to none.
“It leaves the door open for the future consideration of a new stadium,” McPike said.
In Maryland, no currently submitted legislation would let the team qualify for a license. Butlawmakers and others described an aggressive lobbying campaign by the team that has fanned out across the political power structure, wooing everyone from local county council members to the governor’s office.
“They just seem to be open to anything,” one Maryland lawmaker said of the Redskins, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
“It’s, ‘Whatever you want. Yes, yes, yes.’ ”
As part of the pitch, Snyder has privately outlined a proposal to build a new stadium at the site of the team’s FedEx Field in Landover. It would be the centerpiece of a sprawling, year-round entertainment destination that also would include the team’s corporate headquarters and practice facilities — now located in Virginia — in addition to hotels and restaurants, according to multiple people targeted by the Redskins’ lobbying effort.
Snyder owns not only the Landover stadium and its parking lots but also multiple undeveloped parcels nearby that add up to nearly 215 acres, according to property records.
Redskins spokesman Sean DeBarbieri declined to comment on the team’s lobbying efforts.
In the wakeof a 2018 Supreme Court decision that paved the way for states to legalize sports betting, the NFLis grappling with how to mitigate the concerns about integrity — and how to capitalize on the industry.
The league is currently involved in sports betting conversations in more than 30 states, league spokesman Brian McCarthy said. Those talks generally encompass what the league sees as safeguards aimed at preventing legalized betting from exerting improper influence on the teams, games or players.
McPike said Snyder and the league were concerned about tracking in-game bets that profited from “negative” plays. For example, if bettors won big off wagering that a player would fumble or miss a field goal, the teams would want to be alerted by regulators so they could investigate.
In both Maryland and Virginia, lawmakers said the Redskins sought to leverage the possibility of a new stadium in exchange for being included in the sports betting industry. The team did not commit to building a stadium in either state, the lawmakers said.
The search for a stadium site has spanned D.C., Maryland and Virginia; until recently the Redskins’ most concentrated efforts appeared to center on rebuilding at their former home, RFK Stadium in the District.
So far, the city has failed gain control of the property from the federal government.
The Redskins lost potential leverage in that process after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration backed out of a separate land-swap deal that could have allowed the team to build on Oxon Cove Park in Prince George’s County, adjacent to MGM National Harbor.
The team’s FedEx Field deal obligates it to play there through 2027.
In Virginia, neither of the pending bills require the Redskins to build a stadium. But each sponsor said in interviews Friday that they intend to tie the gambling license to a team playing in the state. Theysaid they will offer clarifying amendments to the omnibus legislation, which authorizes the Virginia Lottery to develop an online sports betting program with as many as 12 permits.
The billswould give a major league sports franchise one of thosegambling permits if the team meets other basic criteria common to gambling licenses. The House and Senate versions have each been approved by committees, and they face a Tuesday deadline for full chamber approval.
To get a sports betting license in Maryland — where the team must contend with an established gambling industry of six casinos and betting at racetracks — the Redskins have publicly agreed to a concession that no other potential applicants have entertained.
Redskins lobbyist Justin Ross told a Maryland House committee last week that the Redskins would partner with a minority-owned company to run its sportsbook, sharing the gambling profits with business owners who have historically faced discrimination.
Ross said the team needed the license to compete with other professional sports arenas in the District, where Nationals Park, Capital One Arena and Audi Field — homes of the Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and D.C. United — have been approved as potential gambling sites.
“We’re competing eight miles away with three arenas that are all being able to offer it,” Ross said. “We would humbly ask to be included in the legislation.”
So far, the pitch hasn’t yielded results. According to Senate President Emeritus Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., that’s in part because of the team’s dismal performance and plummeting popularity in recent years.
“The Redskins are going to be a tough sell, a very, very difficult sell, even under normal circumstances,” said Miller (D-Calvert), a Redskins season ticket holder who is on the Senate’s work group to sort out sports betting details.
“Even if it made political and economic sense, you add in the performance of the past few seasons and the way the fan base has been treated, it’s a really, really tough sell,” he said, adding it “would be a different conversation” if Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti requested a license.
By several accounts, the Maryland House of Delegates seemed more open to endorsing the idea of a gambling license for the Redskins. House Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Anne R. Kaiser (D-Montgomery) said she would be willing to sponsor an amendment to include the team — provided it was clear it had the votes to pass.
“We’d be meeting the bettors where they are,” she said. “I think it’s somewhat expected at the stadium.”
The owners of Maryland’s six casinos — which pay more in state taxes than all other corporate taxpayers combined — have largely pushed to limit sports betting to their facilities or to casinos and racetracks.
Meanwhile, Snyder has approached local government officials whose support would be critical either for a license or in rebuilding the stadium in Landover.
He met privately with Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) in January, the first meeting of its kind since Alsobrooks (D) took office 13 months ago. Her spokesman, John Erzen, said the meeting was to discuss Snyder’s plan to rebuild the stadium and redevelop the surrounding property. Snyder also told Alsobrooks of his plans to obtain a sports betting license, he said.
This week, Snyder is scheduled to meet with a couple of members of the Prince George’s County Council, according a council member who spoke on the condition of anonymity becausethe discussions will be private.
Council Member Mel Franklin (D-At Large), who said he is not involved in the meetings, said the council recently endorsed one of the pending sports betting bills, provided that state lawmakers amended it to include FedEx Field as a gambling site.
Redskins representatives have also pitched their proposal to Hogan’s staff, though not to the governor directly, according to people familiar with the situation.
The administration’s enthusiasm for assisting the Redskins waned after the Oxon Cove deal collapsed a year ago, the people said.
Cox and Wiggins reported from Annapolis. Laura Vozzella and Gregory S. Schneider in Richmond and Mark Maske in the District contributed to this report.