PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Fans likely will have something else to do while they watch the Washington Commanders play at FedEx Field.
The team is set to become the second NFL franchise to offer sports betting at its stadium.
Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission in awarded a sports wagering facility license to a company whose sole owner is Daniel Snyder, the majority owner of the Commanders.
The decision follows similar approval last week from the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency.
The Commanders said in an email statement they are grateful for the opportunity, and are “looking forward to revealing more about our plans to stakeholders and fans alike in the weeks ahead.”
Fans had mixed reactions to the announcement.
“That’s cool,” said a man who only identified himself as Shorty. “Everybody else is doing it. We might as well fall in sync with it.”
“I’m not a betting man. But that’s not my incentive for going,” said Tyronne, another fan who also only gave his first name. “I go because I’m supportive of any team. Any team that comes out of the metropolitan area, I’m supportive of it.”
Sports betting is big business. Legalsportsbetting.com estimates gamblers across the country bet at least $150 billion annually.
But gambling at the stadium may not attract more fans to the seats.
“It’s not just going because of the betting,” said Rickey Summerour. “It’s if they’re winning. It’s all about winning.”
Where the Commanders are concerned, fans said that’s not a sure bet.
Nationals Park became the first major league baseball stadium to house a sportsbook when that opened in January 2021. Capitol One Arena followed in May of the same year.
A spokesman for the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency said the Commanders will host an invitation-only dress rehearsal later this year which will feature live betting. Should that prove successful, then fans likely will be allowed to place their bets shortly after that.