Betting Bill In Maryland to Include Redskins FedEx Field

Mar 05, 2020 12:03Joe Tarzaiski
Maryland Gambling Expansion to FedEx Field

Maryland has revised their current bill in regard to sports betting sites. If the initiative passes, it will also include in-stadium betting. The progression of this proposal is a huge win for legislators concerned of industry exclusion.

Senate Revises Previous Bill to Spark Gaming Community

Maryland Senator Craig Zucker presented revisions to the legality of sports betting to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee on Tuesday. His proposition includes three racetracks and a stadium for the Washington Redskins to the six current casinos currently permitted.

The debate to pass the bill will be delivered to the Senate Thursday, and the goal is to have it approved by Tuesday.

Zucker stated, “We had work groups and it was the sentiment that we should be more inclusive. We care deeply about the racetracks and it’s important to try to drive people to the racetracks.

“This is an opportunity to do that that I think would create more marketing opportunities for them and more betting opportunities for the people of Maryland.”

Sports Betting in NFL Stadiums the Future for Gaming?

Zucker’s original bill was built to give exclusive rights to casinos to participate in sports betting. They currently have a $2.5 million initial licensing fee. The revisions made the initial licensing fee are:

  • Casinos with 1,000 or more video lottery terminals, the fee will continue to be listed at $2.5 million.
  • Casinos with less than 1,000 video lottery terminals, the fee will be reduced to $1.5 million.

“We talked to the casinos, we talked to the racetracks, and we think this is a fair way to go,” stated Zucker. “They can succeed with these rates.”

Introducing Sports Betting to FedEx Field

Justin Ross, a lobbyist for the Washington Redskins as well as a former state legislator, addressed the partnership with a minority-owned operator of the sports batting proposition to the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee. “The Washington Redskins are committed to offering meaningful minority equity investment opportunities as it relates to sports betting at FedEx Field.”

The members of the Legislative Black Caucus (LBC) showed a warm response to Ross’s comments. They have a strong history of commitment to increasing opportunities to minority-owned sports gaming companies. Chairman Darryl Barnes stated, “I think it’s a great first step. It’s good to see that Dan Snyder wants to move in that direction.”

Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, is one of the leading proponents in the NFL to incorporate the stadium with the sports betting community. He has received specific requirements for the stadium to be included:

  • Develop an agreement with Prince George’s County for the construction of a mixed-use development and the construction or reconstruction of a sports facility in the county.
  • Submit architectural drawings of the sports facility to the county by July 1, 2022.
  • Acquire zoning approvals for construction or renovation of the stadium totaling at least $500 million by July 1, 2024.
  • Enter into a community benefits agreement with Prince George’s County.

Zucker made a brief statement in regard to voter opinion. “Polling is mixed but I’ve heard from constituents who really want it. It’s not for me to decide, it’s for them. If they want it, they can vote for it. If not, they can reject it. But it’s going to be up to the voters of Maryland."

Joe Tarzaiski
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Joe Tarzaiski began his sports writing career in 2004 in the Philadelphia market, analyzing and handicapping professional sports, college sports, poker and various table games. He currently reports on the increased efforts on the legalization and continual growth of sports betting throughout the United States. A Philadelphia University alum, Joe is dedicated to following current trends in both the gaming community and daily news throughout the sports world.
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