October 13, 2021
There are three casinos that are pushing forward in the licensing process for Maryland sports betting. This past Wednesday, alternative licensing standards were approved by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission for these three casinos. They are the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, the MGM National Harbor, and the Live! Casino and Hotel Maryland.
These casinos hold gambling licenses from the state already. So, this helped to expedite the qualification reviewing process for them. The three casinos will now be facing the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission. This commission is in charge of awarding sports betting licenses in the state.
After they are awarded these sports betting licenses from the commission, they will still be required to seek approval from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. The MLGCA will need to approve operational requirements as well as internal controls before being able to officially issue these licenses.
John Martin, the Director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, indicated his pleasure at the movement he has seen with these three casinos in the process. He stated that his team is working hard to implement the sports betting law in the state. And, that Maryland is now one step closer to being able to accept in-person sports bets. He hopes that the first Maryland sports bets will still be able to take place this autumn.
The Maryland sports betting legislation named seventeen retail sportsbooks. These retail sportsbooks will probably be a few months ahead of online sportsbooks in the state. The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission will be working to determine how it will be allocating the up to 90 competitively bid licenses from the state.
The meeting on Wednesday began with the staff of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency seeking the authority to be able to apply alternative licensing standards to applicants that are qualified. These alternative licensing standards would apply to those applicants who already have a valid Maryland gaming license, like those three casinos.
The staff of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency has also sought permission to be able to apply alternative licensing standards to applicants that hold a sports betting license in at least one of 16 specific states. These states have been chosen because they have been determined to have similar gaming licensing standards to that of the state of Maryland.
The three aforementioned casinos, the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, the MGM National Harbor, and Live! Casino and Hotel are set to proceed in the Maryland sports betting licensing process. These casinos already hold gaming licenses that have been issued by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. And, the staff of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency will still be conducting further thorough background investigations during this process.
These three casinos have completed their full applications for Maryland sports betting licenses and have met the necessary financial requirements. And, all three have submitted their own affidavits attesting to the women-owned and minority-owned interests of the companies.
These three casinos already have sportsbook operators in mind.
The Live! Casino and Hotel, which is situated between Baltimore and Washington D.C., has partnered with FanDuel for its Sports and Social concept. The MGM National Harbor, which is located near Washington D.C., has partnered with BetMGM for its sportsbook. And, the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore is already owned by Caesars, so it will be the home to a Caesars Sportsbook.
In addition, Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, as well as DraftKings have all secured partnerships this year with the Baltimore Ravens.
Back in September, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency ended its public commenting period for its sports betting regulations. The Managing Director of Organizational Compliance for the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, James Butler, is hopeful that the regulations can be published in the Maryland Register on October 22nd.
Some stakeholders have made some requests, including an equal starting line for Maryland mobile sports betting. And, they have also voiced concerns about the requirements for official league data.
The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission will be meeting again on October 14th. And, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency will be meeting again soon after on October 21st.
Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert. You can learn more about our author's expertise here.