(The Center Square) – Maryland residents could be wagering on sports before they eat Thanksgiving dinner.
Maryland Lottery and Gaming announced Monday morning that the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission anticipates awarding sports wagering licenses at its Wednesday meeting.
According to the release, the launch is anticipated to take place before Thanksgiving.
“Our staff has been in continuous contact with these mobile sports wagering businesses and has already guided them through many of the necessary steps,” Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin said in a release. “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.”
The committee announced Monday it will hold the license award meeting on Wednesday and will consider awarding ten licenses to 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); and Riverboat on the Potomac.
However, lottery officials said licenses awarded this week would not permit awardees to begin accepting wagers immediately. According to the release, those businesses continue to work with organization staff to complete operational requirements.
Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, serving the final months of his time in office, said “sports fans can finally plan” for the official launch of mobile sports wagering in the state.
“To reach this point, we have had to overcome countless legal, political, and bureaucratic delays that threatened to push back the launch past the Super Bowl next year,” Hogan said in a statement. “It was unacceptable to me, and we spent months pressing for decisive action. Thanks to those efforts, and after repeated interventions by our administration, we now anticipate the launch of mobile sports betting this month, and we are cautiously optimistic that it will be in time for Thanksgiving.”
Maryland Lottery will identify the start date, and Gaming will be decided after licenses have been awarded. The date can’t be delivered until those gambling operations have been given clearance to launch.