The number of companies looking to join the landscape of Maryland online sports betting keeps growing.
The Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Commission found Queen Sportsbook Maryland LLC qualified for both a Mobile Sports Wagering License and for an Online Sports Wagering Operator License today at the commission’s monthly meeting.
The corporate lineage of Queen Sportsbook Maryland eventually reaches Soohyung Kim, a notable figure in gaming and in the investment world. Kim is on the board of directors for Bally’s Corporation (and that company’s preceding entity, Twin River Worldwide Holdings). He also is a founding partner of the investment firm Standard General L.P.
With the finding of being qualified, Queen Sportsbook Maryland’s application for the Mobile Sports Wagering License now moves to the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) ,whose authority it is to “award” a license based on its criteria that generally speaks to whether the approval would be in the public interest.
An awardee then returns to the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Agency for final approval after a successful controlled demonstration of operations and adherence to state regulations before it can begin accepting wagers.
Given those steps, there’s no specific timeline for when an entity that is found “qualified” actually will go live with a sports wagering app.
For the Online Sports Wagering Operator License, applicants who are found “qualified” do not go before the SWARC for approval.
Oher Business from Commission
In addition to finding Queens Sportsbook Maryland qualified for the two online sports wagering licenses, the Lottery & Gaming Control Commission approved the acquisition of Rocky Gap Casino Resort in western Maryland by Century Maryland Acquisition Inc. and real estate investor VICI Properties from Golden Entertainment.
Part of that process involved the commission finding Century Maryland Acquisition Inc., qualified for a Video Lottery Facility Operators License.
Century Maryland Acquisition Inc., is a subsidiary of Century Casinos. Century owns and operates eight casinos and racetracks in the United States and Canada and has a majority interest in Casinos Poland Ltd., which operates eight casinos throughout Poland.
Regarding Queen Sportsbook, which was found qualified for the two online sportsbook licenses, the corporate organization network is as follows, according to Lottery & Gaming staff in its memo to the commission:
“Queen Sportsbook Maryland LLC is owned 95% by Casino Queen Interactive, LLC which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Queen Casino & Entertainment, Inc. (formerly known as CQ Holding Company, Inc.). SG CQ Gaming, LLC is the ultimate parent company and sole owner of the outstanding stock of the Company. SG CQ Gaming was formed in Delaware on June 3, 2019, and Mr. Soohyung Kim holds an indirect majority ownership interest in the Applicant, primarily through his ownership of SG CQ Gaming.”
As mentioned, Kim is on the board of directors for Bally’s Corporation and was an advocate on behalf of Bally’s as that company became the winning suitor to build a casino resort in Chicago.
Queen Sportsbook Maryland LLC is a subsidiary of the Queen Casino & Entertainment Company, which operates casinos in Iowa, Illinois, and Louisiana (two) as well as retail and online sportsbooks.
Since Maryland went live with retail sports betting in December 2021 and with online sports betting in November 2022, the state now has nine mobile Maryland betting apps taking wagers, and 10 sports wagering facilities doing business. Other operators have been awarded sports gambling licenses by SWARC but have not yet been through the final approval process with the Lottery & Gaming Control Agency.