(Baltimore) — As the holiday season approaches, there may be an early gift for Maryland sports fans: Pending the awards of licenses on Wednesday by the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC), the eagerly awaited launch of mobile sports wagering in Maryland may take place in time for Thanksgiving.
SWARC announced today that it would hold a license award meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 16, during which it will consider awarding licenses to 10 mobile sports wagering entities:
- 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
Businesses awarded licenses by SWARC on Wednesday will not be permitted to begin taking wagers immediately. Each business works with Maryland Lottery and Gaming staff to complete operational requirements.
After SWARC has awarded licenses, Maryland Lottery and Gaming will identify an initial start date. No launches will occur before that date. Businesses that have been awarded licenses by SWARC and have completed all operational tasks by the initial start date will be given clearance to launch on that date.
Businesses that have been awarded licenses by SWARC but are not prepared to launch by the initial start date will be permitted to do so as soon as they have completed all operational requirements.
“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 and 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.”
Before sportsbooks are permitted to launch, they must complete controlled demonstrations of their systems and procedures, which involves accepting wagers at specific dates and times approved by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming. A controlled demonstration is a final step before a launch. No business is permitted to launch before being awarded a license by SWARC and completing its controlled demonstration.
SWARC is authorized to conduct a competitive process to award up to 60 mobile and 30 Class B facility licenses. A 45-day application period ended on October 21, 2022. SWARC received 21 mobile license applications and six Class B facility license applications.
Maryland Lottery and Gaming performs background investigations of applicants to determine if they demonstrate the integrity and financial stability to be qualified for a sports wagering license. SWARC evaluates the suitability of applicants, reviews their business and marketing plans, and determines whether awarding a license to an applicant is in the public interest. An applicant must be found qualified via Maryland Lottery and Gaming investigation before SWARC can award the applicant a license.
On a rolling basis, additional Maryland Lottery and Gaming qualification hearings will be held, followed by SWARC license award meetings. The dates of these meetings have not yet been determined but will be announced as Maryland Lottery and Gaming, and SWARC is prepared to conduct them.