Online Maryland sports betting customers soon might have a few more options when placing wagers.
On Nov. 16, 2022, the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) “awarded” 10 mobile licenses. But when online sports betting went live on Nov. 23, only seven of those awardees had gone through final phase approval process with the state Lottery & Gaming Control Agency. Three awardees sat out the grand opening.
However, James Butler, an executive with Lottery & Gaming, mentioned at today’s SWARC meeting the other three Maryland betting apps should be ready to launch their operations in the next month.
Those awardees are: Greenmount OTB, LLC; Long Shot’s, LLC, and Maryland Stadium Sub LLC.
Diversity Plans Get Scrutiny
Most of today’s SWARC meeting was dedicated to SWARC commissioners being appraised of the required diversity plans for each of the 10 applicants that were awarded mobile licenses and voting whether to accept those plans.
All 10 operators received anonymous approvals for their diversity plans.
Key in the process is that each operator reports diversity metrics regarding ownership, management, employees and contracting opportunities by diverse participants and groups. Those metrics are expected to be reviewed annually.
In each case, online operators enumerated minority and women participants in ownership and management in their companies. The diversity plans also will be posted on the SWARC website for public review.
Mobile operators receiving approvals of their diversity plans were:
• Arundel Amusements Inc. (Bingo World), already live
• BetMGM Maryland Sports LLC, already live
• Crown MD Online Gaming LLC (DraftKings), already live
• CZR Maryland Mobile Opportunity LLC (Horseshoe Casino Baltimore), already live
• Greenmount OTB, LLC, not yet live
• Long Shot’s, LLC, not yet live
• Maryland Stadium Sub, LLC, not yet live
• PENN Maryland OSB, LLC (Hollywood Casino Perryville), already live
• PPE Maryland Mobile LLC (Live! Casino & Hotel), already live
• Riverboat on the Potomac, LLC, already live
Maryland’s sports wagering law stands apart from other such legislation around the country in that it strongly encourages women-owned and minority-owned businesses and individuals as equity participants in the sports gambling industry.
The Long Shot’s operation, which includes two retail sportsbooks, in Frederick and soon in Hagerstown, is woman-owned. And the Riverboat on the Potomac, moored at Colonial Beach, Va., but floating in Maryland waters, is 100% minority-owned.
In some other cases, companies have offered equity shares to employees of a certain employee tier, creating broader equity diversity in that fashion.
Three more operators who have been awarded licenses - two mobiles, Bally’s and WynnBet Maryland, and a Class B facility, Long Shot’s-Hagerstown - will have their diversity plans reviewed at the next SWARC meeting on Feb. 15.
SWARC chairman Tom Brandt also noted that Lottery & Gaming continues to review nine additional mobile applicants and five competitive sports wagering facility applicants that made the deadline with their applications. The window for mobile and Class B sports wagering facility applications is currently closed.
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