Assistance Available For Maryland Small Business Trying To Offer Sports Betting

The sports betting train continues to pick up steam in Maryland.

While in-person wagering is currently available at five of the state’s six casinos, Maryland online betting could be a ways away, but it also could get underway later this year in a major way.

The Old Line State is gearing up for up to 60 mobile betting licenses to go with a possible 47 retail locations, paving the way for it to be one of the biggest sports betting players in the nation.

And while there will be plenty of big dogs on the betting scene like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars, the state wants to make sure that small businesses, women, and minorities have a chance for their piece of the pie as well.

Maryland’s legislation encourages small and minority-owned businesses to enter the sports betting fray, which is part of the reason the state’s launch has been cautious and slow.

Free Educational Summit Held For Small Businesses

The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) in Maryland recently hosted an educational summit aimed at small businesses looking to become involved in the sports betting landscape.

The free event featured panel discussions from industry experts outlining financial and regulatory topics and the licensing process.

The goal was to provide insight into how to get your foot in the door as a small business, as well as to highlight some of the risks involved.

Presenters at the event included gaming lawyers, regulators, legislators, gaming suppliers, legal executives, and gaming operators.

SWARC Creates Assistance Fund

Another way Maryland looks to encourage small businesses to enter the market is with the Sports Wagering Assistance Fund.

The application process for a sports betting license can be complicated and grueling, not to mention expensive. The SWAF was created to help remove some of the barriers to entry for small, minority-owned, and women-owned businesses.

The program is funded by 5% of the Class A sports wagering licensing fees (licenses for commercial casinos and sports arenas) and can be used for loans and grants for:

  • Sports wagering license application assistance
  • Assistance with sports wagering operations
  • Targeted training to support participation in the sports wagering industry

Priority for assistance will be assigned to those pursuing a B1 or B2 sports wagering facility license, with a secondary consideration for those looking for a mobile sports wagering license.

The program defines a small business as having 50 or fewer employees and offers grants of up to $50,000 through three different programs.

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