No Maryland online sports betting until 2023 at least
The launch of Maryland online sports betting in 2022 is not going to happen.
According to Jim Nielsen, chief operating officer of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, if everything goes right moving forward state bettors may be able to participate in Maryland online sports betting by the Super Bowl in February 2023.
“Staff believes that if the (license) applications can be issued within the next week or two, it’s possible Marylanders could be able to bet on the Super Bowl on a mobile platform,” he said at today’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) meeting.
Maryland voters approved sports betting in November 2020 and Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed the bill into law in 2021.
2022 Maryland online sports betting launch will not happen
SWARC is currently waiting on a sports betting industry analysis, and legal review of the document, plus an approval of its regulations and license applications from the Maryland Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review (AELR) committee. A vote on the regulations and license applications from the AELR is expected to take place on Aug. 26, SWARC Chairman Thomas Brandt said.
Nielsen walked SWARC commission members through the potential upcoming timeline for an online sports betting launch. After SWARC releases its online sports betting license applications, Nielsen said online sports betting operators will have 45 to 60 days to submit license applications to the commission.
SWARC will complete their review of license applications within 45 days of their submission. Nielsen said the necessary background checks can be completed by the MLGCA for the more “seasoned” operators in the same time frame.
After receiving SWARC and MLGCA approval for an online sports betting license, the applicant must have its internal controls and policies approved by the MLGCA. After these are approved, the applicant must undergo controlled demonstrations of their technology before going live.
“We can’t determine a specific timeline to completing these steps,” Nielsen said.
All of this leads to a potential Super Bowl launch for Maryland online sports betting, even though regulators cautioned the timeline wasn’t a guarantee.
Washington Commanders receive retail sports betting license
In other SWARC news, commission members unanimously approved two new retail sports betting licenses, including one to the Washington Commanders.
The Commanders will construct a sportsbook at FedEx Field for the upcoming NFL season. The Commanders application was approved by the MLGCA last week.
In addition to the Commanders approved application, SWARC approved a sports betting facility license application for Chesapeake Gaming. Chesapeake Gaming was formed in 2021 for the purpose of hosting sports betting activities at the Boonsboro OTB facility and restaurant in Boonsboro, MD.
Both entities were on the approved list of 17 businesses in the original Maryland sports betting bill. Retail sports betting licenses have been awarded to 11 of the 17 original entities so far, according to Brandt.