The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission announced Wednesday that three casinos have met the requirements for Maryland sports betting licenses — Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover and MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill.
The three are among the 17 entities that were designated in the law to conduct sports wagering operations, pending a review of their qualifications and final licensing. Because Horseshoe (affiliated with Caesars Sportsbook Maryland), Live! (FanDuel) and MGM (BetMGM Sportsbook Maryland) already have gaming licenses in Maryland and were deemed qualified by the commission, according to a news release.
The three applications will be forwarded to the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC), which is responsible for awarding the licenses. Retail sportsbooks in Maryland will take bets first, with online sports wagering not expected to launch until 2022.
The state’s licensing investigations of the three sports wagering operations are ongoing, and any licenses that are issued may be revoked. Applicants hope they can accept wagers during Maryland NFL betting season.
After the SWARC meets on Oct. 14 to formally award licenses to the three casinos, the MLGCA staff will ensure that all three licensees have finalized their systems of internal controls and satisfied other operational requirements before issuing licenses, the release said.
Qualification Standards for 17 Entities
In August, the SWARC voted unanimously that the MLGCC’s qualification standards are sufficient for the SWARC to award licenses to the 17 entities.
“We're pleased to have these three applicants approved and move them along to the SWARC,” Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin said in the release. “Our team is diligently implementing the sports wagering law, and we're one step closer to the first in-person wagers, which we hope will take place by late fall.”
In approving Horseshoe, Live! and MGM, the commission delegated to Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) the authority to apply the alternative licensing standards in state law, the release said.
The MLGCC could waive certain requirements for applicants that hold licenses from Maryland or other states where “the licensing standards are comprehensive and thorough and provide similar and adequate safeguards” to those required in Maryland.
Voters overwhelmingly approved expanding Maryland gambling in November 2020 by referendum.