Maryland Sports Betting Regulations Draft Ready For Review

Written By Pat Evans on July 15, 2021
Maryland sports betting

A draft of proposed Maryland sports betting regulations was released ahead of Thursday’s Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission meeting.

The commission will discuss the proposed regulations during the meeting, which is deemed “a special exclusive meeting covering sports wagering.” The 228-page proposal covers the application process and who qualifies for licenses to technical standards of sports betting in Maryland.

Multiple stakeholders hope the market, which could include up to 60 mobile operators, can launch sometime this fall.

Maryland sports betting path

Voters in the state approved sports betting in November 2020. Despite running up against the end of the legislative session, legislators wrapped up the enacting legislation in April. The bill includes:

  • Class A and Class B retail licenses, including for professional sports teams
  • Up to 60 mobile licenses
  • 15% tax rate on sports betting revenue

Gov. Larry Hogan signed the legislation in May.

MD license details

The draft of regulations further outlines the named entities for Class A and B retail licenses. There are 10 Class A licenses and 30 Class B licenses, split into four categories.

Class A and B licensees can apply for one of the 60 mobile licenses.

Class A-1 entities

  • Casinos with more than 1,000 video lottery terminals
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Baltimore Orioles 
  • Washington Football Team
  • Potential future NBA, NHL or MLS teams in the state

Class A-1 will pay:

  • $2 million non-refundable application fee
  • $6 million license for five-year license bond

Class A-2 entities:

  • Casinos with fewer than 1,000 lottery terminals
  • Laurel Park 
  • Pimlico Race Course

Class A-2 will pay:

  • $1 million non-refundable application fee
  • $3 million license bond

Class B license details

Class B-1 licenses meet requirements in the Annotated Code of Maryland and include seven entities like the Maryland State Fairgrounds and commercial bingo licenses.

Those will pay a $250,000 application fee and a $750,000 initial license bond.

Class B-2 makes up the remaining 30 Class B licenses and includes entities with up to 25 full-time equivalent employees or $3 million in annual gross receipts. Those entities will pay $50,000 application fee and $75,000 for an initial license.

Mobile license details

Mobile license applicants, including Class A and B licensees, will pay: 

  • $500,000 application fee
  • $1.5 million initial five-year license bond

The applicant must also meet a variety of requirements. License renewal fee will be 1% of the licensee’s average annual gross sports wagering revenues in the previous three years. 

Bettors can register in-person at sports betting facility if the licensee is also Class A or B license holder. Otherwise, bettors can register online.

Licensees will only be able to use one online sports wagering operator. The operator license requires a $1.5 million performance bond and can partner with more than one mobile licensee.

Push for sports betting industry diversity

Maryland legislators pushed for diverse participation in the industry. Operators with meaningful connections to minorities, women and minority- and women-owned businesses could see early access to the market.

Legislation also outlines $3 million contributions to sports betting programs at Morgan State University and Bowie State University, historically Black universities in the state.

Reevaluation of Maryland sports betting

By July 1 each year, each MD sports betting licensee is required to submit a report detailing its minority and women involvement.

In December 2025, a report by the gaming commission to the Maryland General Assembly will outline the “racial, ethnic, gender and geographic diversity of Class B-1 and B-2 licensees.” 

The report will also mark the level of market saturation and whether more Class B or mobile licenses should be released.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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