Published on: November 15, 2022, 11:28 am.
Last updated: November 15, 2022, 11:32 am.
Maryland’s long process to license online sports betting and allow betting to begin over the Internet is finally nearing the finish line.
More than two years after Maryland voters amended their state constitution to allow gambling on collegiate and professional sports through a referendum, the state’s Sports Wagering Claims Review Commission (SWARC) said it is ready to issue online sports betting licenses. SWARC meets tomorrow morning in Baltimore, where the state agency is expected to sign off on mobile sports gambling concessions for 10 applicants.
Originally, we had planned our next meeting to be on November 21st, but we have been working with our consultants … to accelerate the pace and keep it earlier,” Tom Brandt, president of SWARC, said in a statement.
“Our target 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 largest portion of sports betting revenue and we look forward to allowing Maryland to enter this market.”
Marketing, Ongoing Promotions
The 10 applicants expected to receive online sports betting privileges tomorrow 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 riverboat on the Potomac.
However, SWARC formally approving applicants does not allow the entity to immediately begin accepting Internet sports betting. Instead, each platform deemed approved by SWARC will have to undergo a successful controlled demonstration of its operating systems and procedures closely monitored by the MLGCC.
If the MLGCC deems the applicant’s operations suitable for a full license, the state gambling regulator will issue its final blessing and the book can open its business to the general public. The MLGCC did not say how long each testing period would last, but acting Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said the state’s hope is to have online sports betting fully operational in time for Thanksgiving.
“Information on the schedule of controlled demonstrations and the earliest date mobile sportsbooks will be allowed to launch will be available,” SWARC detailed.
Maryland’s sports betting law allows SWARC to issue up to 60 mobile licenses. The state agency says additional requests will be considered on an ongoing basis, with the next batch planned for review during the commission’s Dec. 14 meeting.
Marketing, Ongoing Promotions
Major players in the domestic sports betting industry are already marketing their upcoming operations and trying to entice customers to sign up to their platforms through promotional incentives. Commercial television and radio spots in Maryland are flooded with online sports betting firms that expect to receive their operating licenses during tomorrow’s SWARC meeting.
Many operators have also launched their sports betting apps in Maryland, although no real betting can be facilitated through the platforms yet.
Caesars Sportsbook today unveiled its iOS and Android app in Maryland, with users receiving $100 in betting credits with a qualifying deposit of $20. BetMGM is offering registrants $200 in site credit if they sign up before SWARC issues online sports betting licenses.
FanDuel offers $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 available in the state.