Washington football team becomes first NFL team to have betting license

The Washington football team has received a sports betting permit in Virginia and, through a franchise’s partnership with FanDuel, launched a mobile sportsbook in the Commonwealth on Thursday.

The Virginia Lottery issued a permit to Washington on Wednesday, making the football team the first NFL franchise to obtain a sports betting license.

Financial details of how Washington’s partnership with FanDuel and how revenue from Virginia Sportsbook would be shared between the bookmaker and the team were not disclosed. NFL franchises are not permitted to participate in or provide for games directly; However, teams in the states that provide market access can designate a sportsbook to use the license, a league spokesperson told ESPN.

Washington declined to comment on the sports betting permit and sent questions to FanDuel.

“The way Virginia law is written is preferential treatment for the team, which is one reason we are privileged to be the first sportsbook live in the state of Virginia,” Mike Raffensper, chief marketing officer for FanDuel, said on Mike Thursday.

Rafensparger said that bookies in Virginia should expect to see the Washington football team’s marks and logos on online sportsbooks. The partnership extends to Washington, DC, where the FanDuel signage will appear at FedEx Field.

The Virginia sports betting market will only launch online; It is still being discussed to allow retail sportsbooks. As of Thursday afternoon, Fanduel, in conjunction with the football team, was the only approved permit holder.

In addition to Virginia, Illinois and the District of Columbia also allow professional teams and / or stadiums to obtain sports betting licenses. Capital One Arena in Washington, DC has a retail sportsbook, and Nationals Park and Wrigley Field have announced intentions to add sports betting to their locations.

While Washington Sports is the first NFL franchise to hold a betting permit, it is not expected to be the last.

“It’s exciting that NFL teams and other league teams are joining in,” Scott Ward, a government affairs partner for the lobbying firm Auric, who worked on the legislative process in Virginia. “I think we’re going to see it in other states, especially all over the south, where you don’t have casinos, including Texas.”

The Washington franchise has an established presence in Ashburn with its headquarters and training facility in Virginia. Virginia Representative Mark Sickles, who sponsored the sports betting law, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that no deal had been reached with Washington for a new stadium and that granting a permit to the football team was “a sign of good faith on us. Excerpts.” “

With the launch of Virginia, sports betting markets will be regulated in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Five states have passed the sports betting law and are preparing to enter the market, while more than a dozen states are currently investigating the issue. Idaho, Utah and Wisconsin are the only remaining states that have not introduced sports betting legislation since the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that affected federal law that would have primarily governed betting for Nevada. Was.

John Keim of ESPN contributed to this report.


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