Maryland Mobile Sports Betting Set To Launch By End Of November

November 15, 2022
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Maryland's Sports Wagering Application Review Commission will meet on Wednesday to award ten mobile sports-betting licenses out of a total of 21 mobile applications submitted to gaming regulators before last month’s deadline.

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Maryland's Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) will meet Wednesday (November 16) to award ten mobile sports betting licenses out of a total of 21 mobile applications submitted to gaming regulators before last month’s deadline.

Maryland’s 45-day application period for both mobile and retail sports wagering licenses ended on October 21.

Under the state’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.

On Monday, regulators confirmed that 21 applications were submitted for mobile licenses, with SWARC also receiving a total of six Class B facility license applications during the application period.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the seven-member commission will consider awarding licenses for Barstool Sportsbook, Betfred, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, Fanatics, Parx Interactive and PointsBet.

Those ten operators were deemed qualified by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission in late October.

“Today we are proud to report that sports fans can finally plan for the official launch of mobile sports betting in the state of Maryland,” outgoing Governor Larry Hogan said in a statement following the announcement of SWARC's upcoming licensing meeting.

“To reach this point, we have had to overcome countless legal, political and bureaucratic delays that threatened to push back the launch past the Super Bowl next year,” Hogan said. “It was completely unacceptable to me, and we spent months pressing for decisive action.”

The Maryland commission moved up its next meeting date that had been planned for November 21 to consider the ten applications seven days earlier.

SWARC chairman Thomas Brandt said the commission was able to move up the date after working with consultants to accelerate the pace and hold the meeting earlier.

The decision to issue licenses a week earlier also changes the likely launch date of mobile wagering in Maryland.

Previously, it was expected that mobile sports betting would launch in the state in early December.

Hogan noted that due to those efforts and repeated interventions by his administration, mobile sports betting is now expected to launch this month.

“We are cautiously optimistic that it will be in time for Thanksgiving,” the Republican governor said.

Brandt added that mobile wagering will account for the bulk of the revenue from legal sports betting, and “we’re eager to enable Maryland to enter that market.”

Retail sportsbooks have been in operation in Maryland since December, with the state’s eight sportsbooks posting handle of more than $39.66m in October, with revenue topping $5.3m for a 13.4 percent hold. Since January 1, retail sportsbooks have generated total handle of $105.18m, according to lottery figures.

“We will have additional award consideration meetings as SWARC and our advisors continue to review applications, and our next scheduled meeting is December 14,” Brandt said.

Should the ten companies be awarded licenses, they then need to go through controlled demonstrations with the Maryland Lottery. The demonstrations consist of accepting wagers at specific dates and times approved by gaming regulators.

“Our staff has been in continuous contact with these mobile sports wagering businesses and has already guided them through many of the necessary steps,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming girector John Martin.

“The last hurdle is for them to have controlled demonstrations and SWARC’s awards of licenses on Wednesday would clear the way for that to happen.”

In a statement, the Maryland Lottery noted that it performs background investigations of applicants to determine if they demonstrate the integrity and financial stability to be qualified for a license.

SWARC then evaluates the suitability of applicants, reviews their business and marketing plans, and determines whether awarding a license is in the public interest.

An applicant must be found qualified by the lottery before SWARC is permitted to actually award the applicant a license.

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