The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency will hold a qualification hearing for the first 10 Maryland online sports betting operators this week.

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) publicly released a list of the first 10 Maryland online sports betting operators it will hold qualification hearings for on Thursday, Oct. 27. If found to be “qualified” for an online sports betting license by the MLGCA, the online operators’ application will move on to the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) for final review on Nov. 21.

Maryland’s online sports betting launch is likely to commence in late November or early December.

Maryland online sports betting launch closer to reality

The following 10 online sports betting operators  will be evaluated by the MLGCA this week:

After the MLGCA identifies qualified operators, SWARC will have up to 45 days to consider applications and potentially find them qualified for a license. SWARC will not take the full 45 days, as Nov. 21 is only 31 days after MLGCA’s upcoming meeting.

It’s been a long time coming for the state. Maryland approved its sports betting bill on May 18, 2021, and launched retail sports betting in December 2021. Maryland’s likely 18-month journey from bill signage to first online sports bet accepted is by far the longest a state has taken to launch online sports betting.

Regulatory approvals and testing still needed

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.

Rolling approvals of the online sports betting licenses will be allowed, as the MLGCA received less than 60 applications.

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.