Members of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency unanimously approved rules for Maryland sports betting, inching the state closer to a possible sports betting launch later this fall.

John A. Martin, the newly appointed director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, guided members through a 223-page draft of event wagering rules with little discussion  during the nearly hour long meeting.

The rules were unanimously approved by the members of the agency and kept the state on track for a possible in-person sports betting launch later this year. After the approval of the event wagering rules, the sports betting license reviews in the state can now commence.

Maryland sports betting license approval

Each interested license applicant will have to first be approved by the state’s seven-member Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) and the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. Deputy Director James R. Nielsen explained that interested applicants will have their license submissions reviewed first by both SWARC and the gaming control agency. SWARC will approve applicants for a license and their applications will then be turned over to the gaming control agency for final license approval.

Senator Craig J. Zucker, the primary sponsor of the state’s now legalized sports betting bill, said in-person betting at Maryland casinos and horse racetracks should be up and running by the fall.

The state will allow 60 mobile sports betting licenses in its program. It qualifies remaining licenses into two classes; A licenses and B licenses. A license will be the state’s larger casinos, horse racetracks and professional sports teams and each license class with have two separate tiers.

A Class A-1 license includes the three largest casinos in the state, the state’s three professional sports organizations and the jockey club. The Class A-2 licenses will include the state casinos with fewer than 1,000 slot machines; the Class B-1 licenses will include organizations with more than 25 employees and the class B-2 license will include organizations with fewer than 25 employees and less than $3 million in gross receipts.

Ten A licenses and seven B licenses have already been named in the bill. An additional 30 B licenses are available to interested parties.

Applicants for the B licenses and mobile betting licenses will be selected by the state’s gaming commission.

A Class A-1 license will cost $2 million to acquire and $500,000 in renewals; A Class A-2 license will cost $1 million to acquire and $300,000 to renew; A class B-1 license will cost $250,000 to acquire and $50,000 to renew; A class B-2 license will cost $50,000 and $10,000 in renewals.

Maryland sports betting partnerships

PointsBet recently secured market access in Maryland after announcing a strategic partnership with The Riverboat on-the-Potomac in June. the initial agreement is for 10 years but is subject to regulatory approvals and licensure. PointsBet will pay the Riverboat on-the-Potomac online and retail sportsbook access fees as well as a percentage of all sports betting revenue generated at the casino. PointsBet will also be responsible for all fees connected with launching and operating PointsBet gambling services.

On May 27, Penn National Gaming received final regulatory approval to acquire the Hollywood Casino Perryville facility. The company acquired the casino for $31.1 million and will assume the annual rent of approximately $7.77 million.

It’s a safe bet to assume Penn National Gaming will apply for a Type A license for the casino for its Barstool Sportsbook app. A brick-and-mortar sportsbook, coupled with an online Barstool sportsbook app, is expected.

Maryland Live! in Hanover also announced the opening of Sports and Social in early May, a new $15 million, 212-seat, 13,775-square-foot facility that will serve as the casino’s sportsbook when Maryland sports betting begins, according to a company press release.

Maryland Live! has an active partnership with FanDuel. The venue will provide guests with multiple options to wager, including self-serve kiosk and retain windows.

Several other partnerships currently exist in the state, as MGM National Harbor Casino in Baltimore is associated with its own national BetMGM sportsbook, and Caesars Entertainment, which recently acquired William Hill, owns Horseshoe Baltimore Casino.