First Maryland Sports Betting License Applications Are Now Open

Posted on September 16, 2021
Written By on September 16, 2021

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission opened license applications Tuesday for the 17 locations named in Maryland sports betting legislation.

The locations can apply for retail licenses on the MLGCC website. Maryland sports betting legislation allows for more than 100 sports betting licenses. In addition to the 17 named entities, there can be 30 additional Class B retail locations.

Applications for the competitive licenses, including the 60 mobile licenses, will open at a later date.

What 17 locations can apply for MD sports betting licenses? 

Legislators named 17 establishments in enacting legislation to receive sports betting licenses earlier this year. Those businesses include casinos, horse racing tracks and off-track betting facilities, as well as bingo halls.

The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission approved all 17 businesses at its very first meeting in August. Now, the MLGCC must issue the licenses.

The 17 entities are: 

  • MGM National Harbor
  • Live! Casino & Hotel 
  • Horseshoe Casino
  • M&T Bank Stadium
  • Oriole Park at Camden Yards
  • FedEx Field
  • Ocean Downs Casino
  • Hollywood Casino
  • Rocky Gap Casino
  • Laurel Park Race Track and Pimlico Race Track
  • Maryland State Fairgrounds
  • Bingo World
  • Rod-n-Reel
  • Jockey Bar and Grill
  • Greenmount Station
  • Long Shot’s 
  • Riverboat on the Potomac

Future NBA, NHL or MLS franchises that lease a stadium in Maryland can also qualify for an A-1 license.

Retail sportsbooks heading to Maryland

As the 17 licenses are approved, they can begin to open retail sportsbooks in Maryland.

Online sportsbook operators can partner with the Class A and B licensees to offer retail sportsbooks. The 17 named retail establishments can also apply for online sports betting licenses.

What those partnerships are looking like so far:

The Baltimore Ravens, which play at M&T Stadium, have announced three separate sports betting partnerships. None of those partnerships — BetMGM, DraftKings and Caesars — announcements mention a retail sportsbook at the stadium.

The Washington Football Team has a Virginia sports betting license. FanDuel has access to the Old Dominion through the WFT.

Other applications opening later

There are still up to 23 unnamed retail licenses up for grabs. The MLGCC will open those applications, and online licenses, later.

The SWARC must still establish rules to evaluate applicants before they can award licenses and pass them on to the MLGCC for background investigations before licenses can be issued. Legislation requires the SWARC to give preference to minority- and women-owned businesses.

There are potentially 60 mobile licenses available, by far the most in any US online sports betting jurisdiction.

Maryland sports betting process

Maryland voters approved sports betting in November 2020. 

Legislators got to work earlier this year to enact those wishes. Gov. Larry Hogan signed the bill in May, with hopes the first sportsbooks would be open sometime during the NFL season, at least by MLB’s World Series.

The MLGCC approved a set of regulations in July, which the Maryland Register then published in August, kicking off a 30-day public comment period. That period ends Sept. 27. The MLGCC will hold a public meeting on the regulations Sept. 22.

Photo by Alex Brandon / The Associated Press
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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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