A new chapter
The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) has opened the window for sports betting license applications.
Maryland Sports betting was legalized last year through HB940, though the state’s online market remained inoperative. The spread of gambling, combined with institutions such as the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Commanders welcoming operators, piled on the pressure until Tuesday’s announcement.
have until October 21 to submit an application
Operators interested in setting up shop in Maryland have until October 21 to submit an application.
Maryland sports betting expands
Maryland’s online betting is coming courtesy of SWARC’s emergency sports betting regulations, which were recently approved by Maryland’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Legislative, and Executive Review.
Up to 60 mobile licenses are up for grabs, and SWARC will have 45 days to review each application after the window closes. The Maryland lottery will have the final say and can veto applicants if they fail background checks or are deemed unready to begin operations.
We’re focused on expediting our part of the process so mobile betting can start as soon as possible.”
“A number of businesses that are planning to apply for mobile licenses have already submitted information to get their investigations started, and our Licensing staff will continue guiding them through the qualification procedures,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming director John Martin in a press release. “We’re focused on expediting our part of the process so mobile betting can start as soon as possible.”
Martin also reinforced the idea that the state wants to get online betting running as soon as possible — December has been set as the minimum target.
“We know sports fans are eager to have mobile wagering, and we also know that it will substantially increase the contributions to education funding, so we’re eager too. We’ve been doing everything we can to have it launch before the end of the year, and now we have a good chance to make that happen.”
Landscape in Maryland
Once approved, companies will have 30 days to provide diversity plans for their company. If SWARC does not approve, companies will maintain their licenses but receive guidance on how to adjust. SWARC will also remain in the loop of communication throughout the process.
While the pro-betting community can finally rest with the window opening, it was not an easy road. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan had to continually fight with SWARC to sanction mobile sports betting, even going so far as to say they had let progress “stagnate and become mired in overly bureaucratic procedures.”
SWARC ultimately approved regulations in July, ending the ongoing feud.
67% of gamblers placed online wagers within the past five years
According to the Washington Post, 67% of gamblers placed online wagers within the past five years. 49% said they regularly use mobile or online platforms to place their bets, while 40% preferred casinos.
The “Old Line State,” thereby stands to gain significantly from the introduction of mobile betting. There are plenty of attractive local draws, including the Orioles, Commanders, Baltimore Ravens, and University of Maryland Terrapins, that will keep bettors engaged.
Recently, the Orioles partnered with SuperBook Sports to create an in-stadium sportsbook in Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Not to be outdone, the Commanders also received a sportsbook license ahead of the 2022-23 NFL season.