Published: November 4, 2021

Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission Approves Five Sports Wagering Operators

Commission approves 5 sports-wagering operators; licenses still pending

5 casinos continue to wait for sports wagering license awards

BALTIMORE -- The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission on Thursday approved the sports wagering operator partners of five casinos, all of which are still awaiting license awards from the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission.

In October, the MLGCC determined that the five casinos are qualified to conduct sports wagering and forwarded their applications to the SWARC. No action was taken on the five licenses during a SWARC meeting held Wednesday.

"The delay is likely to push sports wagering back until after the New Year. At this point, we are hoping to make the NFL playoffs in January and the Super Bowl in February," Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin said in a statement.

The MLGCC's approval of each casino's operator partner is a separate procedural step in the development of Maryland's sports-wagering program.

"In the meantime, there are numerous steps that don't involve the SWARC, and we are working closely with each facility to complete those tasks," Martin said. "We're also continuing investigations of additional facility applicants so we can forward more of them to the SWARC. We are forging ahead in spite of the delays."

The licenses for the five companies that the MLGCC approved Thursday do not require approval by the SWARC. The companies and the casinos with which they are partnered are as follows:

  • Barstool Sports, partner of Hollywood Casino in Perryville
  • Caesars Sportsbook, partner of Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore
  • FanDuel Sportsbook, partner of Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover
  • BetMGM, partner of MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill
  • TwinSpires, partner of Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin

During its meeting Wednesday, the SWARC approved a motion asking all entities that have initiated their sports-wagering applications to provide supplemental information on their ownership structures within seven days. After reviewing that information, the SWARC will meet again at 8 a.m. on Nov. 18.

"If the SWARC awards the licenses on Nov. 18 and all goes well, that would mean a launch date somewhere around the first of the year," Martin said.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming staff determined that all five companies are qualified because they each have sports wagering licenses from at least three other states with standards that are similar to those in Maryland.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming's full licensing investigations of these five companies are ongoing, and any licenses that are ongoing, and any licenses that are issued may be revoked.

© Public Gaming Research Institute. All rights reserved.