Maryland online sports betting now stands a good chance to launch in 2022 after the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) decided to allow rolling approval of online sportsbook licenses, rather than call for a universal start date for all sportsbooks.

The decision to consider and approve individual sportsbooks on a rolling basis and allow them to take bets immediately after receiving a license (and regulatory testing) will vastly accelerate the sports betting launch compared with a universal start date for all approved operators.

2022 Maryland Sports Betting Launch Likely

A motion to consider sportsbooks on a rolling basis for license approval was unanimously approved by SWARC members this morning.

SWARC recently opened its application process for online sports betting and Class B facility sports betting licenses. Businesses and individuals pursuing a license will need to submit an application to be considered by Oct. 21, 2022.

SWARC may then take up to 45 days to consider applications and potentially find them qualified for a license. This takes the process out to Dec. 5 at the latest, at which time Maryland Lottery and Gaming will inform SWARC of applicants that have been found qualified for a license. SWARC can then award licenses to qualified applicants.

Once licenses are awarded by SWARC, operators must then complete regulatory testing requirements and a successful controlled demonstration for Maryland Lottery and Gaming before they can receive the license and launch online sports betting in the state.

With the accelerate process now approved, Maryland online sports betting could theoretically begin in late November or early December.

Staggered Launch Accelerates Online Sports Betting

SWARC Chairman Thomas Brandt said the rolling approvals will only happen if the commission receives less than 60 online sports betting applications. The Maryland sports betting bill caps online sports betting licenses at 60 in the state.

“There are 30 (retail) and 60 (online), which none of us assume will be exceeded, but we certainly cannot approve more if the law doesn’t allow us to go over those numbers,” Brandt said.

By allowing a staggered launch, the state will not have to wait for the full complement of sportsbook applicants to be approved before launching sports betting.

This will likely allow SWARC to quickly approve licenses for sportsbooks such as Barstool, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, and PointsBet, as they’ve already been vetted by the commission and Maryland Lottery and Gaming for their retail sports betting services.