After months of waiting by impatient sports fans, it appears that online Maryland sportsbooks might launch a little sooner than anticipated.
Today, the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) announced it would hold a special meeting Wednesday to consider awarding licenses to 10 mobile sports wagering entities that already have been found to be qualified by the state Lottery & Gaming Control Commission.
That means that, depending on the pace of licensing events, mobile sports betting could launch by Thanksgiving.
Start looking for DraftKings Maryland bonus codes as well as those from other operators.
SWARC Moves Up Meeting
The SWARC had a regularly scheduled meeting for Nov. 21, but if its members were able to review materials related to the online applicants before then, there was always the possibility of an earlier special meeting. Apparently, that’s what is occurring.
The key question: When will operators, who are awarded licenses, actually begin to start taking wagers? The answer to that is: It depends.
What to Expect Next
Here is the coming sequence of events:
Assuming SWARC “awards” licenses Wednesday, Maryland Lottery & Gaming will identify an initial start date. No launches will occur before that date.
Before Lottery & Gaming issues licenses, which allow the online sportsbooks to begin taking bets, those businesses must get operational and procedural approvals. That includes what is called a “controlled demonstration.”
The businesses that have been awarded licenses by SWARC and have passed muster on operations and procedures by the initial start date established by Lottery & Gaming will be allowed to launch on that date.
Those businesses that are awarded licenses by SWARC but are not prepared to launch by that initial start date will be permitted to start taking bets as soon as they have completed all of the Lottery & Gaming Control Agency’s operational requirements.
So, given that sequence of events, it is possible mobile sports gambling could start by Thanksgiving. But bettors will likely have to wait for a little bit longer before getting to use a SuperBook Maryland promo.
Which Companies Are Up for Approval?
The 10 entities that the SWARC will be considering on Nov. 16 are:
- Arundel Amusements (Bingo World)
- BetMGM Maryland Sports LLC
- Crown MD Online Gaming LLC (DraftKings)
- CZR Maryland Mobile Opportunity LLC (Horseshoe Casino Baltimore)
- Greenmount OTB LLC
- Long Shot’s LLC
- Maryland Stadium Sub LLC (Washington Commanders)
- PENN Maryland OSB LLC (Hollywood Casino Perryville)
- PPE Maryland Mobile LLC (Live! Casino and Hotel)
- Riverboat on the Potomac
“Our staff has been in continuous contact with these mobile sports wagering businesses and has already guided them through many of the necessary steps,” said Maryland Lottery & Gaming Director John Martin. “The last hurdle is for them to have controlled demonstrations, and SWARC’s awards of licenses on Wednesday would clear the way for that to happen.”
Some details of the final phases of license approval are that Maryland sports apps must successfully complete controlled demonstrations of their systems and procedures. That involves accepting wagers at specific dates and times approved by Maryland Lottery & Gaming. Such a controlled demonstration is the final step before a launch.
State Has Two-Tiered System
Maryland has a two-tiered system for awarding sports gambling licenses for both retail and mobile licenses.
Maryland Lottery & Gaming performs background investigations of gambling license applicants to determine integrity and financial stability to be qualified for a sports wagering license. After determining an applicant is qualified, SWARC evaluates the suitability of applicants, including whether awarding a license to an applicant is in the public interest.
SWARC is authorized to conduct a competitive process to award up to 60 mobile licenses and up to 30 Class B facility licenses. The application period ended Oct. 21, and SWARC received 21 mobile license applications and six Class B facility license applications. It is highly unlikely there will be 60 mobile applicants.
Looking ahead, there will be additional Maryland Lottery & Gaming qualification hearings, followed by SWARC license award meetings. The dates of these meetings have not yet been determined but will be announced as Lottery & Gaming and SWARC are prepared to conduct them.
Stay close to BetMaryland.com for developments as well as for Maryland sportsbook promos.