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Commanders’ bid for a sportsbook at FedEx Field gets initial approval

The Commanders got one step closer to putting a sportsbook at FedEx Field after the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission signed off on their application Wednesday. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission on Wednesday signed off on the Commanders’ application for a retail sportsbook license at FedEx Field, moving the team a step closer to final approval.

The agency voted, 6-1, in favor of the brick-and-mortar sportsbook license and forwarded it to Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission to decide if it will authorize the license.

The Commanders applied as Maryland Stadium Sub LLC, which they registered in September.

The meeting with the commission was held over Zoom. One of Daniel Snyder’s attorneys, James McCarroll of Reed Smith LLP, appeared 0n video and told the commission his client was unexpectedly traveling and did not have access to WiFi for a video appearance. Snyder joined in an audio-only capacity.

“I just wanted to thank everyone overall, not only the Maryland Lottery Gaming but just Prince George’s County, where our stadium has been headquartered. … It’s been an absolute pleasure,” Snyder said in his first public comments since the team unveiled its new name in February. “Our stadium, we’ve dramatically upgraded. We’re encouraging everyone to come to see all the changes we’ve done to the stadium this year. I think it’ll be quite impressive. We’re going to have some big-time attendance shortly as our staff, our leadership team, [president] Jason Wright and [senior vice president of operations and guest experience Trista Langdon] and the team have done an amazing job. We’re very, very optimistic also on the season. We finally have ourselves a quarterback. So I want to say thanks to everyone. I really, truly appreciate this.”

Snyder, who was listed as the sole owner of the team, spoke under oath to the commission.

Washington ranked last among the 32 NFL teams last year in tickets sold for home games and second-to-last in ticket revenue, according to Sportico.

Sports betting kicks off in Virginia after state awards permit to FanDuel

The Commanders, in partnership with FanDuel, were approved for a sportsbook in Virginia in 2020, when a new state law stated pro sports teams could partner with an operator to get “substantial and preferred consideration” for approval.

Before the Maryland commission held its hearing Wednesday morning, it released the report from its investigation of the Commanders to determine whether the team was a qualified candidate for a sportsbook license. The report stated that McCarroll had “ensured” Snyder’s July 28 testimony with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform was “consistent” with the information he had provided the commission during its review. It also stated that Maryland Stadium Sub “was found to have financial stability, integrity and responsibility” and that it “possesses the requisite good character, honesty and integrity.”