Maryland Sports Betting Regulations Approved, Head to Public Comment

Posted on July 19, 2021
Maryland sports betting
Posted By on July 19, 2021

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission approved a set of regulations for sports betting in the state last week.

The commission was led line-by-line through the 228-page packet of Maryland sports betting regulations. Commissioners unanimously approved each chapter, including a few minor changes, with one joking, “It felt like we were reading ‘War and Peace.’”

As legislators worked through the bill enacting a November 2020 voter mandate this spring, they expressed optimism for a fall 2021 launch. There is still hope for some operators and regulators to launch by this fall. Gov. Larry Hogan signed the bill in May.

What’s next for MD sports betting?

The Maryland General Assembly Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review will review the regulations next. The regulations will then be published in the Maryland Register and a 30-day public comment period will begin, but that date is not known, according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency website.

On Thursday, the commission approved the regulations to be processed as emergency and non-emergency regulations. The commission also voted to give MLGCA staff the authority to make “non-substantive” changes necessary for publication in the Maryland Register.

The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission also still needs to publish the application submission guidelines.

Maryland nuts and bolts

The Maryland market will consist of up to 40 retail licenses, split between Class A and Class B types, and potentially 60 mobile licenses.

  • 10 Class A licenses include the state’s casinos, current professional sports franchises, and horse tracks. Language is included for future professional sports teams.
  • There are 30 Class B licenses, including seven named entities like the Maryland State Fairgrounds.

The state will levy a 15% tax on sports betting revenue.

The four tiers will pay different fees for applications and license bonds. The renewal fees after five years are based on percentages of the preceding three-year average annual gross sports wagering revenues, minus the 15% in taxes.

Initial fees:

  • A-1: $2 million application fee, $6 million license bond
  • A-2: $1 million application fee, $3 million license bond
  • B-1: $250,000 application fee, $750,000 license bond
  • B-2: $50,000 application fee, $75,000 license bond

Online licenses

There are 60 mobile licenses, of which retail licensees can apply. Mobile licensees can only use one online sports wagering operator, while operators can partner with more than one licensee.

Account registration can be online or in-person at licensees with a retail location.

Mobile licenses will cost:

  • $500,000 application fee
  • $1.5 million initial license bond
  • Online sports wagering operators requires a $1.5 million performance bond.

Built-in review of Maryland sports betting

In December 2025, the commission will review the previous four years of operations, a period that requires annual reports from licensees.

One goal of the report will be to ensure operators are hitting the state’s goals for diverse participation in the industry.

The commission will also review whether the market needs more licenses at that time.

Vibrant market likely

Maryland is the 19th-most populous state, sitting in the Mid-Atlantic corridor surrounded by legal betting markets including Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington DC.

Along with MGM Resorts and Caesars — which is hiring for a William Hill sportsbook writer in Baltimore — casinos, Penn National acquired a casino in 2020, meaning Barstool Sportsbook is likely. In JunePointsBet partnered with Riverboat on the Potomac, a minority-owned off-track betting facility.

The Baltimore Ravens named BetMGM a sports betting partner in May. FanDuel and DraftKings both tweeted congratulatory messages when the legislation passed in April.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-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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