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Maryland Casinos Can Partner with Sportsbooks Says Commission

| November 14, 2021, 08:00 AM

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission has approved partnerships between casinos and sportsbooks. Although five local casinos still have their betting licenses in limbo, the approval is a major boost to the state’s betting industry.

The state panel with the final say on the matter hasn’t taken action on the applications yet. Instead, it has requested that the casinos provide more information. However, according to the Director, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, John Martin, the approval is good news for the state and there is still a lot of hope.

The Casino Applications

Applications from MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Live! Casino and Hotel in Hanover, Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin, and Hollywood Casino in Perryville were forwarded to the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC). They were due for approval in October.

However, it is still not clear when they can officially partner with sportsbooks. The commission’s next meeting has been scheduled for Nov.18. However, the gambling commission has already approved licenses for the companies that partner with casinos to operate sportsbooks.

There are five companies, and all of them are licensed in a minimum of three other states whose regulations are similar to Maryland. According to the agreements, TwinSpires will partner with Ocean Downs in Berlin. Barstool Sports is expected to partner with Perryville’s Hollywood Casino.

BetMGM will partner with MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill. FanDuel Sportsbook will work with Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover and Caesars Sportsbook will work in partnership with Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino. The map of casinos in Maryland found here should give you more information on Maryland casinos.

What Does the Future Hold?

Although SWARC’s meeting was disappointing, John Martin expressed contentment in the fact that the industry is moving forward in other areas. However, he feels that the commission’s delay may push sports betting as far forward as next year. At this point, he hopes that the state will be ready for January’s NFL playoffs and February’s Super Bowl.

However, it is frustrating and disappointing that Marylanders may need to keep waiting for much longer before they can start betting. Some of them drive all the way to Delaware when they need to place a bet. If SWARC finally approves casino applications in their next meetings, Maryland casinos should start opening their sportsbooks within the first months of 2022.

The Arc of Central Maryland

The Future of Mobile Sportsbook Apps in Maryland

Although the Old-Line State is far from filling up with sportsbooks, its future looks great. Certain sportsbooks will be live right from the first day of operations. Three stadiums and all the six casinos in the state have been awarded sportsbook licenses, including online ‘skins.’

Skins are existing sportsbooks that partner with licensed entities. If, for example, the Orioles choose to open a sportsbook at Camden Yards, they have the option of creating their own Orioles Sportsbook or partnering with sportsbooks. For instance, if they work with DraftKings, that will be their online skin.

Entities expected to have sportsbook licenses include: Laurel Park Racetrack, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Football Team, Ocean Downs, and Horseshoe Baltimore.

Maryland Teams and Demographics

The median household income in Maryland is the highest in the United States. It has a dense population of six million, and the sports culture is pretty impressive.

The demography of the state has been a major boost to many teams including MLB’s Baltimore Orioles and the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. Sports stakeholders believe that Maryland has one of the most lucrative per capita markets in the entire country.

With legal sports betting, Maryland may soon be able to earn gambling dollars from its promising population. In 2016, Maryland opened its newest casino, hence compelling Virginia to approve commercial casinos just four years later. It also pushed DC to legalize sports betting.

Today, Maryland officials hope that they can bring the same to their state. The legalization of sports betting could make it possible to keep up with the competition.

Some Background on Legalization

The future of Maryland sports betting has always been bright. In fact, it was one of the first states to ever consider legalizing sports betting. In May 2018, the Supreme Court shut down a federal ban. However, lawmakers would need to wait two years before passing a bill about it. Even then, the final decision lied with the voters.

In the 2018 legislative session, the court’s ruling was a little too late for the state to complete a bill on the same year. Those who backed it in the General Assembly made another attempt in 2019.

However, the AG’s office established that all kinds of sports betting was subjected to the constitutional ban enforced by the state. This meant that voters would need to be involved in the approval process. The earliest timeline for the elections would be in November 2020.

Lawmakers put their attention back into sports betting again in 2020. A failure would have delayed legal wagering until 2022. However, the effects of the pandemic delayed things.

Liquified Creative Annapolis

2021 Developments

In July 2021, lawmakers finally presented the final list of regulations. Although the original bill was from the House of Representatives in Maryland, the Senate’s reworked version is what finally got the last passing. Both the Senate and House have already voted in favor of the bill. The state is currently setting rules to govern sports betting.

This was one of the biggest bills to ever be passed in the USA. It allowed the licensing of 60 online sportsbooks and issued out 30 retail licenses. The retail licenses include: the six main commercial casinos, sports teams, and secondary licenses for businesses like small sporting arenas, bars, and restaurants. The number of skins that the state has allowed is a lot higher than in other states.

If things go according to plan, the Maryland Gaming Commission will be responsible for the regulation, licensing and overseeing all of the state’s betting. For most retail vendors and online sportsbooks, the tax rate will be a solid 15 percent.

Secondary retail licenses will receive 13 percent tax on gross revenue. The bill will also see a licensing fee of $50,000 for minor retail operators and $250,000 for major retail operators. Their annual charges will be $10,000 and $50,000. When submitting their applications, online sportsbooks will need to pay $500,000. Their annual fee will be $100,000.

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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