Five Maryland Retail Sports Betting Licenses Awarded, PointsBet Likely Next

Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) awarded five retail sports betting licenses on Nov. 18: 

  • Hollywood Casino Perryville Barstool Sportsbook
  • Ocean Downs TwinSpires Sportsbook 
  • Horseshoe Casino Caesars Sportsbook 
  • Live! Casino and Hotel FanDuel
  • MGM National Harbor BetMGM

These licenses come on the heels of accusations from three casinos that their sports betting licenses were being unjustly delayed. Maryland’s governor cited the commission’s consideration of additional gambling provisions as the reason for the delay. However, the three casinos accused SWARC of delaying their sports betting licenses to conduct another disparity study.   

None of the three casinos returned Maryland Sharp’s request for comment. 

However, the three casinos that signed the joint statement got their sports betting licenses along with the two others. This has ended what seems to be a PR push to pressure SWARC into approving sports betting licenses that the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission already approved. 

Next Potential Licensees  

Each casino and partnered sportsbook will have its own timeline to launch sports betting. Although, those launch dates will likely be close to each other. However, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission still has 12 sports betting licenses to award. 

PointsBet is expected to be the next approved licensee. It has secured market access in Maryland through a partnership with Riverboat-on-the-Potomac. Riverboat-on-the-Potomac is also a minority-owned business under Maryland’s sports betting law. 

Maryland committed to ensuring women and minority-owned businesses received sports betting licenses. Officials wanted to avoid the mistake they made when it rolled medicinal marijuana out and failed to license any women or minority-owned businesses.  

With market access and an obligation from the State, PointsBet and Potomac-on-the-River seem best-positioned to be awarded Maryland’s sixth retail sports betting license.  

However, DraftKings is the last major sportsbook brand among the nation’s Big Three brands to not announce Maryland licensure yet. So, bettors should watch for DraftKings’ sports betting announcement in the coming weeks, too.

About the Author

Christopher Gerlacher

Christopher Gerlacher is a Senior Writer and Contributor at Maryland Sharp, with a focus on the sports betting industry and the financial and political impact of gaming on the state.