Maryland Sports Betting Regulations Approved, Up Next: Public Commenting Period

Balazs Pal

There is optimism for a fall 2021 launch in Maryland after the Gaming Control Commission and the Maryland Lottery both approved the 228-page long Maryland sports betting regulations last week.

The commission was led through the entire document line by line and approved each chapter unanimously, requesting only a few minor changes.

Governor Larry Hogan signed the bill back in May and multiple operators and regulators hope to get their licenses by the time the NFL’s season starts in September.

Up Next: Joint Committee Review and 30-Day Public Comment Period

The regulation will now head to the Maryland General Assembly Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review who will hold a review round of the document. After their approval, the regulations will be published in the Maryland Register, opening up the 30-day public comment period.

The start of the public commenting period is largely dependent on the date of approval and is unknown at this point, but both the Maryland Lottery and the Gaming Control Agency will publish the timing on their sites once it is known.

The commission permitted the Maryland General Assembly Joint Committee to make minor changes if necessary for the publication in the Maryland Register. The commission also approved the regulations to be processed as emergency and non-emergency regulations as well.

40 Retail Licenses Available

The Maryland market is expected to be fairly competitive with 40 retail licenses waiting to get handed out. These are split between Class A and Class B types. There are also potentially 60 mobile licenses for operators to apply for.

Out of the 40 retail licenses, 10 will be Class A licenses that include the state's professional sports franchises, horse track, and casinos. Potential future professional sports teams are also granted licenses.

Operators will be required to pay a 15% tax on sports betting revenue. There are four tiers that all pay different application fees and license bonds.

Here is the Maryland license fee structure:

  • A-1: application fee of $2 million & a $6 million license bond
  • A-2: application fee of $1 million & a $3 million license bond
  • B-1: application fee of $250,000 & a $750,000 license bond
  • A-2: application fee of $50,000 & a $75,000 license bond

Renewal fees are due after five years and they are based on the average of the gross sports wagering revenue of the last three years (minus the 15% tax).

Regulations for Online Maryland Licenses

There will be a total of 60 Maryland mobile licenses to apply for. These mobile licenses can only use one online sportsbook operator, but operators are allowed to partner with more than one license. Operators applying for mobile licenses are required to pay a $500,000 application fee and a 1.5 million license bond. A $1.5 million performance bond is also required for mobile licenses.

According to the Maryland sports betting regulations, sports bettors will be able to register accounts both online and in-person at licensees that have a retail location in the state.

More Licenses Could be Handed Out After the 2025 Review

The Maryland Gaming Control Commission plans to review the first four years of operations at the end of 2025. Licensees are required to hand in annual reports that will ensure that all the operators are hitting the goals set by the state.

Further licenses could be handed out after the 2025 review if the market has matured enough and more licenses make sense for the state from a financial perspective.

Big Name SportsBook Operators Set to Enter Maryland Market

Maryland is surrounded by multiple blooming sports betting markets including Virginia and Pennsylvania and it seems that most major operators will be looking to start operating in the state once Maryland starts to issue licenses.

The state will see industry giants DraftKings and FanDuel both applying for licenses. Both brands welcomed the legislation passing in April and were among the first to state that they are planning to enter the market.

BetMGM will be another familiar name sports bettors can place bets within Maryland. The New Jersey-based operator partnered with NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and will welcome bettors with Ravens-specific promotions both in M&T Bank Stadium as well as on Ravens digital and social media.

The operator will also get a private hospitality suite for their VIP bettors within the stadium. The Ravens will likely be a top target for operators as the franchise is allowed to have multiple sports betting partners. For BetMGM, this marks the second partnership with a major league sports team after announcing a deal with the Nationals in Washington D.C.

Caesars is already recruiting personnel for a William Hill sportsbook in Baltimore and PointsBet has also announced a partnership with Riverboat on the Potomac, an off-track betting facility.

Penn National Gaming acquired a casino in the state in 2020, which means that we will likely have a Barstool Sportsbook in Maryland as well, as Penn purchased Barstool for $450 million in early 2020.

Subscribe to track every update to the Maryland sports betting market and receive an alert when we get an official launch date.

Balazs Pal

Balazs is a sports bettor, analyst, writer, and host of the daily betting podcast, The Barrel Zone. In just the past three years, Balazs has over 5000 tracked, third-party verified picks. He covers the NBA, MLB, and sports betting legislation for EatWatchBet. @TheBarrelZone

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