Maryland sports betting: Five operators get licenses ahead of regulation

Maryland sports betting: Five operators get licenses ahead of regulation

Maryland retail sports betting market is steadily shaping up on Thursday, as the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission issues the licenses for five retail sportsbook applicants in a 5-2 vote.

Maryland Sports Betting market shaping up

Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore City, Hollywood Casino in Perryville, National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Live! Casino and Hotel in Hanover and Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin become the five candidates authorized to run sports betting business in Maryland. The date for sports betting to go live remains uncertain but could happen within the next few weeks. 

The casinos are qualified to handle sports wagering within 30 to 45 days. However, the debut in Maryland will rely on how soon the testing procedure can be done and meet regulatory inspections.

“We’re thrilled to continue forward, and we’re engaging closely with the casinos to make sure they execute everything as swiftly as they can. We still have a few essential stages to go before we get to that final grand opening for every property,” John A. Martin, Director of the State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, noted. “Work has been ongoing, and we’re near. Our intention is to debut within 30-45 days, which means Marylanders will be able to bet on the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl.”

The five casinos permitted are among 18 gaming businesses granted the first opportunity to apply for an in-person sports wagering license. 

The state will eventually open up the application process for up to 30 additional retail sports wagering licenses, while there will be up to 60 mobile betting app licenses. 

Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted his excitement with the decision, stating the commission “has finally acted to authorize these licenses. Our government will continue to endeavor to get sports betting up and operating in Maryland as quickly as possible.”

Preparation for Maryland Sportsbook launch

Each casino has been preparing for retail sports betting to go live, putting in sportsbook rooms inside their facilities. Live! Casino & Hotel offers a multi-million-dollar sports bar that is ready to morph into a sportsbook. The Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore is already constructing a sportsbook and microbrewery on the first level of its casino.

PointsBet also qualified for a sports wagering operator license. In June, the business said it was working with Riverboat on the Potomac, one of the 17 places designated for licensure under Maryland’s sports betting law. 

There will be a 15 percent state tax on sports betting earnings. The state projects its sports betting industry to generate around $100 million yearly upon launching. Out of the $100 million, $85 million will be earmarked for companies, with $15 million going to the state.

About Lou De Aguila

Lou Aguila is a news and feature writer for Golden Casino News. For over a decade, Lou has published news and featured articles for some of the most reputable sports betting and online casino sites in the world, including BetNow.UK, VegasOdds, and BWin. Apart from being a hardcore live casino punter, he also covers sports stories in North American leagues from time to time.