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Maryland edges closes to sports betting launch as five licenses issued


The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission’s (MLGCC) Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) has issued five sports betting licenses to land-based casinos.

The state now plans to take its first bets within the coming two months.

Penn National’s Hollywood Casino in Perryville; Caesars Entertainment’s Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore; Cordish Companies’ Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover; the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill and Churchill Downs’ Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin all secured licenses.

The MLGCC previously cleared the quintet to receive licenses earlier this year.

After the SWARC awarded the licenses at a meeting yesterday (November 18), the MLGCC voted unanimously to delegate staff the authority to issue sports wagering licenses to each facility once all procedural requirements have been completed.

The MLGCC said this would increase the pace of legal sports wagering’s roll-out in the state, as it would not be necessary for the MLGCC to meet and vote to issue final licenses after each facility has completed a controlled demonstration of its sportsbook product.

“We’re excited to move forward, and we’re coordinating closely with the casinos to make sure they finish everything as quickly as they can,” MLGCC director John Martin said.

“Work has been ongoing, and we’re close. Our target is to launch within 30-45 days, which means Marylanders will be able to bet on the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl. We couldn’t be happier about that.”

The MLGCC also announced that PointsBet has also qualified for a sports wagering operator license.

PointsBet in June entered into an agreement with the Riverboat Group’s Riverboat on-the-Potomac venue in Maryland to secure market access in the state.

The MLGCC said PointsBet is qualified as it has sports betting licenses from at least three other states with standards similar to those in Maryland. A full licensing investigation will now take place ahead of PointsBet being issued a license.

“Licensing investigations are quite extensive, so we’re continuously communicating with applicants to guide them through the process,” Martin said.

“Our licensing staff makes sure that applicants are aware if something is missing because we’re eager to see them submit all of the necessary information and complete all the steps so that we can find them qualified for licensing, and send the applicants to the SWARC for award.”