Posted: November 15, 2022, 11:28 a.m.
Last update: November 15, 2022, 12:12 p.m.
Maryland’s long process of allowing online sports betting and allowing betting to begin via the Internet is finally approaching the finish line.
More than two years after Maryland voters amended their state’s constitution to allow gambling on college and professional sports through a referendum, the Sports Betting Application Review Commission (SWARC) of the state said it was ready to issue online sports betting licenses. SWARC meets Wednesday morning in Baltimore where the state agency is expected to approve mobile sports game concessions for 10 applicants.
We originally planned our next meeting to be November 21, but we worked with our consultants…to pick up the pace and hold it sooner,” SWARC President Tom Brandt said in a statement.
“Our focus for this meeting will be mobile applicants who have been qualified by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC),” Brandt added. “Mobile betting will represent the bulk of sports betting revenue, and we look forward to enabling Maryland to enter this market.”
Marketing, current promotions
The 10 contenders set to receive online sports betting privileges on Wednesday are Arundel Amusements (Bingo World), BetMGM, DraftKings, Caesars Sportsbook, Greenmount OTB, Long Shot’s, Maryland Stadium Sub (Washington Commanders), Penn Entertainment (Hollywood Casino Perryville) , Live! Casino and Hotel, and the Riverboat on the Potomac.
SWARC officially endorsing applicants, however, will not allow the entity to immediately begin accepting internet sports betting. Instead, each SWARC-approved platform will be required to undergo a successful controlled demonstration of its operating systems and procedures closely monitored by the MLGCC.
If the MLGCC finds the applicant’s operations suitable for full licensing, the state gaming regulator will issue its final blessing and the book may open its business to the general public. The MLGCC did not specify the length of each testing period, but outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said the state hopes online sports betting will be fully operational in time for Thanksgiving.
“Information on the timing of controlled demonstrations and the earliest date that mobile sports betting will be allowed to launch will be forthcoming,” detailed SWARC.
Maryland Sports Betting Law allows SWARC to issue up to 60 mobile licenses. The state agency says additional nominations will be considered on an as-needed basis, with the next batch to be considered at the December 14 commission meeting.
Marketing, ongoing promotions
Major players in the domestic sports betting industry are already marketing their upcoming operations with the aim of enticing customers to register on their platforms through promotional incentives. Maryland’s television and radio commercials are awash with online sports betting companies expected to receive their operating licenses at Wednesday’s SWARC meeting.
Many operators have launched their sports betting apps in Maryland, although no real betting can be facilitated through the platforms yet.
Caesars Sportsbook unveiled its iOS and Android app in Maryland on Tuesday, with users receiving $100 in betting credits with a $20 qualifying deposit. BetMGM is offering registrants $200 in site credit if they register before SWARC issues online sports betting licenses.
FanDuel offers a $100 credit with a user’s first bet of at least $1. DraftKings says anyone who pre-registers in Maryland will receive $200 once the bookmaker is fully operational in the state.