Virginia legislators are close to passing a bill that would legalize sports betting and provide incentives for the Redskins to build their next stadium in the Commonwealth, Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Saturday.
The bill, which is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam if passed by the legislature, would allow the Redskins to run a legal gambling operation both at their stadium and online by partnering with “an established operator for the service” such as FanDuel.
There were some unrelated complications Saturday evening, however, during the House session regarding gambling on college sports and unrelated to the Redskins. Those will need to be worked out for the bill to go through.
According to Phillips, Redskins owner Dan Snyder has selected a confidential plot of land in Virginia with access to D.C. that he’s considering purchasing for the future site of the Redskins’ stadium. Their current lease agreement at FedEx Field expires at the end of the 2026 season.
If you really want to get worked up about a possible Virginia stadium, the Redskins do have a press conference scheduled Thursday in Richmond. They’ve done this every year since training camp moved down there, but perhaps interesting timing— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) March 7, 2020
The news comes two days after the Washington Post’s Erin Cox reported that Maryland was willing to include a similar exemptive provision for the Redskins in its sports gambling bill if the team builds its stadium in Prince George’s County. Snyder and the Redskins have been lobbying for such provisions in both states.
The team has explored potential sites for a new stadium for years as the conditions at FedEx Field have slipped below the industry standard. Lawmakers from Maryland, Virginia and D.C. have been unwilling to adhere to those requests, but these gambling provisions offer financial opportunities that could offset development costs.
Washington is coming off a season in which it went 3-13 and brought in just under 524,000 fans for home games — a figure that ranked 20th in the league.
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