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Maryland approves 10 online sports-wagering operators

16 Nov 2022

By Jarrod LeBlanc
(UPDATE: The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency announced on Thursday that mobile sports betting will launch in the state on 23 November.)

Online sports gambling in Maryland is one step closer following this morning’s Sports Wagering Application Review Committee (SWARC) meeting. The commission decided today to award sports-wagering licenses to the following 10 online operators, subject to the applicants submitting the memorandum of understanding required under Section 91 E15I to of the state government article.

Maryland launched retail sports wagering in December 2021.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued the following statement after the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency announced that the launch of mobile sports wagering in Maryland may take place in time for Thanksgiving.

“Today we are proud to report that sports fans can finally plan for the official launch of mobile sports betting in the State of Maryland,” Governor Hogan said. “To reach this point, we have had to overcome countless legal, political, and bureaucratic delays that threatened to push back the launch past the Super Bowl next year. It was completely unacceptable to me, and we spent months pressing for decisive action. Thanks to those efforts, and after repeated interventions by our administration, we now anticipate the launch of mobile sports betting this month, and we are cautiously optimistic that it will be in time for Thanksgiving.

“I want to thank everyone at the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency for their work to help us accelerate the process, and we look forward to a successful launch very soon.”

The 10 operators are:

Arundel Amusements, Inc. doing business as Bingo World
Applicant has engaged RSI MD, LLC, an affiliate of Rush Street Interactive, Inc., a publicly traded gaming and sports entertainment company, as its online sports wagering operator. It will operate under brand name of BetRivers Sportsbook.

BetMGM Maryland Sports LLC
Applicant has engaged BetMGM LLC, a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Entain plc, as its online sports wagering operator. It will operate under BetMGM Sportsbook.

Crown MD Online Gaming LLC (dba DraftKings)
Applicant’s parent DraftKings will operate all mobile sports wagering.

CZR Maryland Mobile Opportunity LLC/Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
Applicant has engaged American Wagering, Inc. and affiliate of Caesars Entertainment, a multi-national gaming, entertainment and sports wagering company as its online sports wagering operator. It will operate under Caesars Sportsbook.

Greenmount OTB LLC
Applicant has engaged PARX Interactive Maryland, Inc., an affiliate of Greenwood Racing Inc., as its online sports wagering operator. It will operate under BetParx Sportsbook.

Long Shot’s LLC
Applicant has engaged BetFred Sports LLC, an affiliate of BetFred Group Limited, a privately-held, multi-national sports betting company in business over 55 years that operates over 1,400 retail betting shops and mobile sports betting operations, as its online sports wagering operator. It will operate under BetFred Sportsbook.

Maryland Stadium Sub, LLC/Washington Commanders’ FedEx Field
Applicant has engaged FBG Enterprises Opco, LLC, as subsidiary of Fanatics Holdings, Inc., a global sports company featuring officially licensed fan merchandise, NFTs, sports betting and iGaming, as its online sports wagering operator. It will operate under Fanatics Sportsbook.

PENN Maryland OSB LLC/Hollywood Casino Perryville
Applicant has engaged Penn Sports Interactive, LLC, a subsidiary of PENN Entertainment, Inc., a racing, entertainment and hospitality company, as its online sports wagering operator. It will operate under Barstool Sportsbook.

PPE Maryland Mobile, LLC/Maryland Live! Casino and Hotel
Applicant has engaged Betfair Interactive US LLC dba FanDuel Sportsbook, a subsidiary of Flutter Entertainment plc, as its online sports wagering operator. It will operate under FanDuel Sportsbook.

Riverboat on the Potomac LLC
Applicant has engaged PointsBet Maryland LLC, an affiliate of PointsBet Holdings Limited, a multi-national sports wagering operator, as its online sports wagering operator. It will operate under PointsBet Sportsbook.

The estimated Gross Gaming Revenues (GGR) in the millions based on 50% tax rate of these 10 applicants for the first five years is as follows:
Year 1: $123.3
Year 2: $369.8
Year 3: $493.1
Year 4: $517.8
Year 5: $542.4

The average projected Gross Gaming Revenues in the millions from mobile sports wagering estimated by the 10 applicants based on 50% tax rate is as follows for the next five years:

2023: $177.8
2024: $385.6
2025: $483
2026: $514.90
2027: $548.5

SWARC will contact today’s applicants about completing the statutory required memorandum, understanding once the memorandum of understanding is completed and signed and the decision statement has been issued today’s action will be final. Awardees are also reminded that they must submit their diversity plans to SWARC within 30 calendar days after the license award. SWARC will transmit the decision statements to Lottery who will review the awardees’ internal controls and responsible gaming measures as well as monitor its controlled demonstrations before issuing of their licenses. The controlled demonstrations will include live wagering by customers at specific dates and times approved by Maryland Lottery and Gaming. Information on the timing of controlled demonstrations will be provided by the licensees.

SWARC Commissioners and SWARC’s consultants are still reviewing the 11 remaining mobile sports wagering applicants as well as the 6 Class B sports wagering facility license applicants. Lottery is also continuing to review the qualifications of these applicants. SWARC’s next meeting is Wednesday, 14 December.

The SWARC is actually able to grant up to 60 online sports wagering licenses, but decided to only move forward with these 10 operators at this time. SWARC was inclined to award the mobile sports wagering licenses to these applicants after determining and declaring that the award of the licenses is in the ‘public interest based on the following criteria they presented in their slides:

  • Enhanced State fiscal resources for education (achieved through sports wagering tax revenue)

  • Economic development and employment opportunities spurred by the sports wagering industry

  • The regulation of an otherwise unregulated illegal sports wagering market that lacks consumer protections, undermines the integrity of sports, and offers distasteful betting options that are contrary to public interest

Other public interest factors could include the following:

  • The license award provides opportunities for individuals who satisfy the personal net worth requirements under COMAR to participate in the sports wagering industry

  • Applicant agreed to submit to SWARC a diversity plan that will include strategies for obtaining a diverse group of owners, investors, employees, and contractors

  • Wagers are protected by Applicant maintaining cash reserves and performance bonds

  • Applicant addresses problem gaming through self-exclusion programs and industry-standard responsible gaming tools
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