Maryland will award mobile sports betting licenses earlier than planned

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Maryland planned to start awarding sports betting licenses during their Nov. 21 meeting. However, those plans have changed.

The state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) announced on Monday they will now hold their first license award meeting on Wednesday, a week earlier than planned.

“We had originally planned our next meeting to be Nov. 21, but we’ve been working with our consultants from Taft Stettinius & Hollister and Spectrum Gaming Group to accelerate the pace and hold it earlier,” SWARC Chairman Tom Brandt said. “We thank them for their diligence and professionalism through this process.”

Brandt has repeatedly encouraged commission members to use all available resources while reviewing applications to prevent a slowdown in launching sports wagering.

During a September meeting, Brandt encouraged commissioners and legal consultants to “elaborate on resources” so the process of awarding licenses is not a bottleneck. “We’re trying to enable some sports wagering in Maryland,” he said.

The license award meeting will take place at Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency headquarters in Baltimore.

Under Maryland’s sports wagering law, SWARC is authorized to conduct a competitive process to award up to 60 mobile licenses and up to 30 Class B facility licenses. A 45-day application period ended on Oct. 21, during which SWARC received 21 mobile applications and six Class B facility applications.

Which brands are the first to be considered?

Ten mobile sports wagering license applicants are currently expected to be considered by SWARC during the Wednesday meeting. After a review of each applicant is presented, SWARC may vote to award a license, deny a license, or hold the applicant for future consideration.

The award of a license by SWARC does not allow an applicant to immediately begin taking wagers. Applicants are working with Maryland Lottery officials to complete operational requirements before approval to launch. The last step for each applicant is the successful completion of a controlled demonstration of its systems and procedures.

“Information on the timing of controlled demonstrations and the earliest date when mobile sportsbooks will be permitted to launch will be forthcoming after SWARC has awarded licenses,” SWARC said in a press release.

“Our focus for this (first) meeting will be the mobile applicants who have been qualified,” Brandt said. “We will have additional award consideration meetings as SWARC and our advisors continue to review applications. Mobile wagering will account for the bulk of the revenue from sports wagering, and we’re eager to enable Maryland to enter that market.”

The following mobile sports wagering license applicants are scheduled for consideration during Wednesday’s meeting:

  • Arundel Amusements (Bingo World, BetRivers MD)
  • BetMGM Maryland Sports LLC
  • Crown MD Online Gaming LLC (DraftKings MD)
  • CZR Maryland Mobile Opportunity LLC (Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, Caesars MD)
  • Greenmount OTB LLC (BetParx)
  • Long Shot’s LLC (Betfred Sports Maryland)
  • Maryland Stadium Sub LLC (Washington Commanders, Fanatics)
  • PENN Maryland OSB LLC (Hollywood Casino Perryville, Barstool)
  • PPE Maryland Mobile LLC (Live! Casino and Hotel, FanDuel)
  • Riverboat on the Potomac (PointsBet Maryland)

Maryland launched retail sports betting in December 2021. The state currently has eight retail locations open.

Political Editor

Keith Stein is a freelance journalist based in Virginia. He has experience in freelance writing, full-time journalism and supporting monthly and weekly news publications. He has also worked as a contributing writer with United Press International.

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