According to Maryland Matters, three Maryland casinos signed a joint statement claiming that the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) is violating the law by not issuing sports betting licenses to:
- Horseshoe Baltimore (Caesars Sportsbook)
- Live! Casino (FanDuel Sportsbook)
- MGM National Harbor (BetMGM)
Although the joint statement sounds dramatic, the casinos have standing to make that claim. Maryland’s sports betting bill requires the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission to approve sports betting licenses and the SWARC to sign off on the sports betting licenses.
However, the black letter of the law also states that any licensee approved by the Lottery and Gaming Control Commission must receive a Class A sports betting license. These three casinos are pouncing on that technicality to speed their delayed sports betting licenses along.
The Cause Of The SWARC’s Delay
The joint statement cites media reports that the delays were due to additional disparity studies the SWARC is conducting. Maryland’s sports betting bill has a provision to consider minority and women-owned businesses for license sure to avoid icing them out of the sports betting industry like they were in the medical marijuana industry.
However, FOX5 reported that Governor Hogan cited the SWARC’s efforts to add additional gambling providers as the delay’s reason. The SWARC is scheduled to meet again on Thursday, Nov. 18. Maryland Sharp reached out to the three casinos for comment.
Maryland Casinos Profiting From Olympics More Than NFL?
This delay will reduce the amount of time that casinos can offer sports betting on the NFL. The NFL is the most popular sports betting market, so these casinos are ready to offer sports betting.
However, they have a stroke of luck in their favor this year. The Beijing Olympics begin on February 4, 2022. So, Maryland sportsbooks will profit from a major sports betting market even if they can’t launch until early 2022.
However, the NFL remains the largest sports betting market in the United States. So, missing out on the games leading up to the Super Bowl is something that these casinos want to avoid. The Beijing Olympics may not make up for missing too many NFL games.