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Maryland regulator set to award 10 sports betting licenses

Maryland sports betting news - launch legal online betting

The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) is on its way to awarding online sports betting licenses to 10 qualified operators.

The commission noted that it will formally issue these licences after a board meeting, which is scheduled to take place on November 21.

The lengthy regulatory process that SWARC goes through has drawn a great deal of criticism. The commission has spent a significant amount of time and effort over the past several months figuring out how to screen applications for online sportsbooks and allocate licenses in a manner that complies with equality standards.

Residents of Maryland voted in a referendum to revise their state constitution during the general election held in November 2020. The amendment made it possible for sports betting to be conducted in-person as well as via the internet. However, after nearly two years, the online sports betting aspect has not been implemented yet.

The law governing sports betting in Maryland permits up to 60 licenses to be awarded for mobile sports betting as well. This means there are still 50 licenses that could be made available to registrants.

On this note, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director, John Martin, stated that all regulatory bodies involved in the issuance of licenses still have a long list of activities to embark on.

“There is still a flurry of activity ahead of us over the next couple of weeks, but we’re going to see the first mobile wagers placed in Maryland soon,” Martin said in the press release last week.

“We know sports fans have been eagerly awaiting that opportunity, and we’re almost there.”

The following is a list of the 10 operators who were deemed to be qualified in a meeting held on Thursday by the commission:

  • DraftKings
  • BetMGM
  • BetRivers
  • Caesars Sportsbook
  • FanDuel
  • PointsBet
  • Betfred
  • Parx
  • Fanatics
  • Barstool Sportsbook

These ten organizations have a good chance of being the first licensed online sportsbook operators in the state of Maryland. In the event that SWARC grants licenses to the applicants during the meeting in November, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC) will evaluate the applicants’ operations while they are undergoing a test run as the final stage in the approval process. In the event that their efforts are fruitful, they will be allowed to go completely live.

Martin also spoke on the already selected few operators, noting that the commission is delighted to see them operating in a new market.

“We’re pleased that we advanced the process today, but of course the work continues,” Martin said in the meeting held on Thursday.

“We’re also very happy to see such a varied group of businesses become part of this emerging market in Maryland.”

Even though land-based sportsbooks started operating in the state’s casinos toward the end of 2021, the state has not yet entered the hugely profitable mobile sports betting industry. This market is expected to bring in millions of dollars for the state’s treasury by the year 2023.

However, this revenue will not even come close to the revenue earned by the state’s casinos, which brought in a total of $67.9 million for Maryland in just the month of September. Brick-and-mortar sports betting in the state’s seven establishments brought in a total of $31.4 million during the month of September. Of this amount, approximately one million dollars was contributed to a state education fund.

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