By Rebecca Hanchett
Maryland law allows for up to 107 sports betting licenses. Two-thirds of those are set aside for online sports betting, with in-person sportsbooks eligible for the rest.
Who can claim those licenses, and when, depends on if the applicant is designated by state law or not.
Who is licensed to conduct sports betting in Maryland also depends on how much of an applicant’s investment or employment is tied to minority and women-owned businesses.
Maryland In-Person Sports Betting Licenses Designated By Law
Seventeen in-person licenses are designated for specific locations under Maryland’s 2021 sports betting law. Those 17 businesses – a mix of casinos, professional sports stadiums, horse racing tracks, large bingo halls, and off-track betting facilities – must be awarded a license if they are found financially qualified by state regulators.
Those businesses, classified as Class A (largest) and Class B (smaller), are as follows:
- MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill
- Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover
- Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore City
- M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore City
- Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore City
- FedEx Field in Landover
- Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin
- Hollywood Casino in Perryville
- Rocky Gap Casino in Flintstone
- Laurel Park Race Track in Laurel and Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore City (sharing a single license)
- Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium
- Bingo World in Baltimore (Anne Arundel County)
- Rod-n-Reel in Chesapeake Beach
- Jockey Bar and Grill in Boonsboro
- Greenmount Station in Hampstead
- Long Shot’s in Frederick
- Riverboat on the Potomac in Colonial Beach, Va. (located in Maryland waters of the Potomac River
Five of the 17 locations have opened retail sportsbooks to date. Those five locations are MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover, Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore City, Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin, and Hollywood Casino in Perryville.
Four more in-person sportsbooks (licensed to Long Shot’s, Bingo World, Greenmount Station, and Riverboat on the Potomac) are expected to open later this summer.
Additional In-Person Sports Betting Licenses Are On Hold
An additional 30 in-person Maryland sports betting licenses are not designated by law. Those licenses are expected to be competitively awarded by Maryland state regulators after licensing regulations are finalized by state gaming regulators in late summer 2022.
Although competitive, applications from businesses with ties to minority and women-owned businesses will be given added weight.
Fees for a competitive Class B license will depend on the size of the business, with two categories based on size:
Class B-1: Businesses with 25 or more equivalent full-time employees, or more than $3 million in annual gross receipts. A B-1 license requires a $250,000 application fee (nonrefundable)
Class B-2: Businesses with 24 or fewer equivalent full-time employees, or less than $3 million in annual gross receipts. A B-2 license requires a $50,000 application fee (nonrefundable).
Up To 60 Maryland Online/Mobile Licenses Will Be Available
Maryland online/mobile sports betting licenses make up the majority of the sports betting licenses soon available under the state’s 2021 law. Any business will be able to apply for one of up to 60 online sports betting licenses once the application process begins, hopefully later this summer.
Each online license will carry an application fee of $500,000 (nonrefundable), with added weight given to applicants from minority and women-owned businesses.
Because of the hefty costs involved, potential applicants for a Maryland online sports betting license as well as competitive Class B licenses are encouraged to inquire about the process beforehand via a state e-licensing portal. Now open, the portal allows potential applicants to start the qualification process for a much smaller fee of up to $5200.
That minimal fee is partially refundable should a business decide to back out of the process before paying the half-million-dollar nonrefundable licensing fee.
According to Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin, “the e-Licensing system will allow prospective applicants to input information and compile an array of documents required for submission,” reported WTOP-TV on June 16. “Our staff is ready to work with them and help them to understand what’s required.”