On Thursday, October 27, 2022, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC) announced they have advanced the license applications of the following 10 online/mobile sportsbook operators:
- American Wagering
- Bet Rivers/Rush Street
- Draft Kings
- FanDuel/Bet Fair
- Parx Interactive
In advancing license applications for these operators, the MLGCC is essentially confirming the operators have cleared the necessary background investigations into their “honesty, integrity, good character and financial suitability to be qualified for a sports wagering license.” The MLGCC’s decision to advance the operator license applications represents another step forward in a multi-phase mobile sportsbook licensing process involving three administrative agencies: the MLGCC, the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC), and the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency (the Agency). The MLGCC’s decision is not equivalent to a final approval.
Now that the MLGCC has advanced license applications for the aforementioned 10 operators, they will move on to the next phase in the process, in which SWARC will evaluate the operators’ “suitability” to determine whether awarding them a license is “in the public interest.” As part of the process, SWARC will examine each operator’s business and marketing plans, as well as their corporate ownership structure.
Applicants approved by SWARC will then move on to the final phase of the licensing process where they will appear before the Agency to conduct a controlled demonstration of their online/mobile sports betting software to confirm their systems and internal control procedures are functioning correctly. Once operators pass the “controlled demonstration phase”, the Agency will begin awarding Mobile Sportsbook Licenses and announce an official “launch” date.
Although state regulators have not committed to a timeline, industry observers anticipate the process outlined above could take anywhere from three to six weeks, meaning the Agency could begin awarding final licenses as early as mid/late November 2022.