In a small, but necessary, step towards the Maryland sports betting launch, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC) today opened its eLicensing platform to the 17 entities that were named in Maryland’s sports wagering law.

These 17 entities will be able to submit applications on the online platform for necessary background checks. If approved by the MLGCC, the entities can receive interim sports betting licenses and then being taking in-person sports bets.

Fall or winter Maryland sports betting launch expected

“We anticipate that some of the 17 specified locations may be able to start taking sports wagers late this fall or early this winter, in time for the NFL playoffs,” said MLGCC Director John Martin in a release. “We’re actively working to expedite the process.”


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The MLGCC may issue interim licenses to brick-and-mortar applicants that hold gaming or sports wagering licenses from states where the background investigation standards are equivalent to those in Maryland. If the entities are found to have disqualifying factors during the MLGCC’s background checks, the interim licenses can be revoked.

The MLGCC will begin investigations of the 17 named entities once they have submitted their applications via the eLicensing portal.

Eligible Maryland entities for interim licenses

Here are the 17 entities listed in the Maryland sports betting bill:

Casino Licenses

  • Horseshoe Casino (A-1 License)
  • Live! Casino (A-1 License)
  • MGM (A-1 License)
  • Hollywood Casino (A-2 License)
  • Ocean Downs Casino (A-2 License)
  • Rocky Gap Casino Resort (A-2 License)

Professional Sports Stadium Licenses

  • Oriole Park (A-1 License)
  • M&T Bank Field (A-1 License)
  • FedEx Field (A-1 License)

Racetrack Licenses

  • Laurel Park and Pimlico Park  (One A-2 License between them)

OTB Locations

  • Greenmount Station (B License)
  • The Jockey Bar and Grille (B License)
  • Long Shot’s (B License)
  • Riverboat on the Potomac (B License)
  • Maryland State Fairgrounds (B License)

Commercial Bingo Halls (with at least 200 machines)

  • Bingo World
  • Rod ‘N’ Reel

What about Maryland online sports betting?

While retail sports betting is being worked out, the application and allocation process for online sports betting licenses has not yet been determined.

Without a set application procedure from the Sports Wagering Application Review Committee (SWARC) it’s hard to set a timeline on when licenses will be awarded, an MLGCC representative previously told Saturday Tradition.

The role of SWARC is to establish the license application process, award all sports wagering licenses, establish special considerations for Class B and online sports betting licenses and ensure the allocation of licenses are spread equitably across the state. SWARC has yet to set a timeline or process for sportsbook operators to apply for online sports betting licenses.

An FAQ section on the MLGCA website sheds some light on the potential online sports betting license process, as the agency said the issuance of licenses (including online licenses) for entities not listed in the original sports bill may take between 12 to 24 months:

“Some of the entities named in the Sports Wagering Law may have their brick-and-mortar sports wagering operations up and running during the fall of 2021. For a business that is not named in the Sports Wagering Law, the review by SWARC and a licensing background investigation could take between 12 and 24 months from May 2021.”