Maryland Regulators Open Platform For Sports Betting License Applications

In another step toward the launch of legal sports wagering in the state, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC) this week opened its eLicensing platform to the 17 entities designated as retail licensees. The businesses will submit applications through that system, which will initiate investigations into their criminal and financial backgrounds.

Per an MLGCC press release, these background checks will be expedited, as permitted under the state’s sports betting law, so they should not take the typical several months to complete.

“We anticipate that some of the 17 specified locations may be able to start taking sports wagers late this fall or early this winter, in time for the NFL playoffs,” Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin said in the release. “We’re actively working to expedite the process.”

Licensees partnering with sports betting operators that are already taking bets in other states are well-positioned, as the MLGCC is allowed to issue interim licenses by waiving certain requirements for operators that have gone through background checks similar to Maryland’s.

Where Marylanders Will Soon Be Able To Bet

These are the 17 businesses designated as retail sports betting spots in Maryland:

Class A licensees (required to pay a $2 million application fee)

Six casinos: MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill; Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover; Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore; Hollywood Casino in Perryville; Rocky Gap Casino in Flintstone; and Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin.

Three professional sports facilities: Baltimore Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium; Oriole Park at Camden Yards; and FedEx Field in Landover.

Horse racing tracks: Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore and Laurel Park Race Track in Laurel (sharing a single license)

Class B licensees (required to pay an application fee of either $50,000 or $250,000, depending on the size of the business)

Five off-track betting facilities: Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium; Jockey Bar and Grill in Boonsboro; Greenmount Station in Hampstead; Long Shot’s in Frederick; and Riverboat on the Potomac in Colonial Beach, Va. (in Maryland waters of the Potomac River).\

Two bingo halls: Bingo World in Baltimore (Anne Arundel County); and Rod ‘N’ Reel in Chesapeake Beach.

Market Access

Last month at the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission’s first meeting, some of the designated licensees and their sportsbook partners briefed the MLGCA of their retail plans. Those included Horseshoe Casino Baltimore (owned and operated by Caesars), Hollywood Casino Perryville (operated by Penn National Gaming, which owns Barstool Sportsbook), and Live! Casino Maryland (which is partnering with FanDuel for its book operation)

PointsBet has market access through a deal with Riverboat on-the-Potomac, one of the designated OTBs.

The Ravens have marketing agreements with three operators – BetMGM, DraftKings, and most recently, Caesars – although it’s not clear which company will operate a book at M&T Bank Stadium.

More partnerships will come to light in the days ahead.

Just The Beginning

The Maryland sports betting market promises to be ultra-competitive, which is fantastic for consumers. The state’s law calls for up to 40 retail betting locations (including the 17 designees), plus as many as 60 mobile betting platforms.

A 30-day period for Maryland residents to comment on the state’s sports regulations ends September 22.

About the Author

Marcus DiNitto

Marcus DiNitto is Senior News Editor for Gaming Today. He has been managing editor at SportsBusiness Daily, Sporting News, The Linemakers, and USA Sports Gaming. Marcus earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.