Maryland’s focus on sports betting and its potential for the state is slowly starting to come into focus as business owners and lawmakers prepare for its launch in the fall.

Gov. Larry Hogan signed Maryland’s sports betting bill into law in late May after months of legislative debate and planning, officially legalize in-person and online sports betting in the state. The General Assembly made HB 940 an “emergency bill,” which means it will go into effect immediately.

Maryland sports betting by the fall?

The Maryland Senate unanimously approved HB 940 by a 47-0 vote in April. The bill was amended to put a cap on the available number of online mobile betting licenses. The Senate agreed to limit the number of online licenses to 60, while the original bill called for an unlimited amount. The State General Assembly agreed to all amendments to HB 940.

The bill approves 60 mobile sports betting licenses and 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.

Partnerships are already being made for sportsbook in the state. 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.

The transaction is expected to close in mid-2021, subject to customary closing conditions.

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 sports betting partnerships are being developed

Maryland Live! in Hanover 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.

Maryland officials are hopeful sports betting in the state will begin as early as the World Series, or at the very latest Feb. 13, 2022, the date of Super Bowl LVI.

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.