Public Comment Period On Maryland Sports Betting Regulations Has Begun

A 30-day period for Maryland residents to weigh in on sports betting regulations in the state is underway, as emergency rules overseeing the industry were published Friday in the Maryland Register, an official state publication that comes out every other week.

The publication of the rules, which follows Thursday’s meeting among the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) and several future sports betting licensees, triggers the mandatory public comment period.

These are baby steps in the state’s progress toward the launch of legal sports betting. Maryland bettors will not be able to wager on sports legally by the time the 2021 football season starts. A go-live date several weeks into the season appears likely.

How Marylanders Can Chime In

Maryland residents eager to have their voices heard on the shape sports betting will take in the state have the following options:

  • Use the form found here on the MLGCA site.
  • Email [email protected]
  • Send a letter by mail to James B. Butler, Managing Director of Organizational Compliance, Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency, 1800 Washington Blvd., Suite 330, Baltimore, MD 21230

Also, the MLGCA will hold a meeting Wednesday, September 22, where the public may speak.

The public comment period ends Monday, September 27.

First In Line

Maryland’s sports betting law specifically names 17 venues that will be first in line for licenses. Earlier this month, the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission held its first meeting, where it voted to advance these venues to further review by the MLGCA.

Up to 10 Class A retail licenses will be awarded to pro sports facilities, casinos, and horse tracks, while seven initial Class B licensees will go to the Fairgrounds, four OTBs, and two bingo parlors.

Some of these entities and their sportsbook partners briefed the MLGCA of their plans at Thursday’s meeting. 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).

Beyond the 17 named retail venues, Marylanders will see as many as 100 total sports betting options, including 40 at retail and 60 mobile platforms.

Who Else?

Ravens fans should expect eventually to be able to place bets at a sportsbook housed within M&T Bank Stadium. The team has announced marketing deals with both BetMGM and DraftKings, although neither deal includes operation of the retail book at the stadium.

PointsBet, meanwhile, landed market access via a strategic partnership with Riverboat on-the-Potomac, one of the four OTBs designated as Class-B licensees.

Maryland’s sports betting laws also stipulate that women- and minority-owned businesses get a piece of the action, although there are high barriers to entry for startups looking to enter this business.

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.