- Update from Nov. 16: SWARC approved all ten operators for sports betting licenses, but did not clarify when the official launch date will be. The presumption is launch will take place sometime next week.
- While Ohio and Massachusetts won’t commence taking online bets until 2023, one state is surprising the industry with a revised timeline. Today, Maryland Lottery and Gaming announced bettors in the state could be betting online as early as next week.
The Sports Wagering Application Review Committee (SWARC) will hold a meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 16 when the group will discuss the licensing of ten qualified operators.
Here are the ten online operators the SWARC will review on Wednesday:
- BetRivers Sportsbook (Arundel Amusements DBA Bingo World)
- BetMGM Sportsbook (BetMGM Maryland Sports LLC)
- DraftKings Sportsbook (Crown MD Online Gaming LLC)
- Caesars Sportsbook (CZR Maryland Mobile Opportunity LLC / Horseshoe Casino Baltimore)
- BetParx Sportsbook (Greenmount OTB LLC)
- BetFred Sportsbook (Long Shot’s LLC)
- Fanatics Sportsbook (Maryland Stadium Sub LLC / Washington Commanders)
- Barstool Sportsbook (PENN Maryland OSB LLC / Hollywood Casino Perryville)
- FanDuel Sportsbook (PPE Maryland Mobile LLC / Live! Casino and Hotel)
- PointsBet Sportsbook (Riverboat on the Potomac)
If approved on Wednesday, sportsbooks do not have the immediate green light to start taking wagers in the state. Instead, the Lottery will establish a specific launch date and no operator will accept bets before that date. Whichever operators complete the necessary tasks and paperwork to launch by that date will be given the clear to go. If an operator is not ready to go at the initial launch date, they will launch at a later date while competitors get to go to market before them.
“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.”
The final list of ten came from a pool of 21 different online sports wagering applicants. The state can offer up to 60 licenses, but chose to only move forward with the ten listed. Maryland Lottery and Gaming did not in the release that there will be additional hearings and licensing opportunities in the future, but none are on the docket at this time.
Fanatics is the only operator on the list that has yet to go live in another state. The company is in the process of getting a license in Ohio, but should launch in Maryland first, as Ohio won’t take bets until Jan. 1 of next year.