Progress in the online MD sports betting process after Governor Larry Hogan’s criticism
Hogan and others have grown tired of the time-consuming procedure of obtaining a Maryland online sports betting license. As a result, the SWARC is grappling with how to put a state statute in place that stresses minority- and women-owned firms’ involvement in the state’s sports betting market, particularly “equity” participation.
Larry Hogan frustrated about the launch in Maryland
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s harsh criticism of the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission’s sluggishness this week may not have yielded the dramatic effects he was hoping for. However, at its meeting on Thursday, the commission established some preliminary deadlines for itself to expedite the process of launching online sports betting in Maryland.
The SWARC, in particular, has called a special meeting on June 29 to “take action” on draft regulations and applications.
“I appreciate that many people are disappointed that the process for granting Maryland mobile sports wagering licenses has taken so long,” said SWARC chairman Tom Brandt, who is one of Hogan’s nominees on the seven-member panel, which also includes members chosen by General Assembly leaders.
SWARC works as fast as it can
SWARC members will get a draft of these preliminary regulations and applications early next week (June 20-24),” Brandt stated. “In the next weeks, I expect to have SWARC take action on these drafts at a special meeting.” The extraordinary meeting was later scheduled for June 29. The next regular meeting of SWARC will be held on July 20.
According to Brandt, the SWARC was tasked with devising a method that is “legally sound and permits SWARC to aim to promote racial, ethnic, and gender diversity when issuing the sports wagering licenses to the utmost degree possible by law.”
Hogan had requested a “timeline” for internet sports wagering in his public critique, with the start of the NFL season on Sept. 8 being the goal date for mobile betting.
Brandt did not provide any other particular dates other than the June 29 meeting.
Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission continue their work
Meanwhile, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission stated Thursday that it would open its eLicensing platform on June 17 to organizations and individuals interested in pursuing a sports betting mobile license or a Class B sports wagering facility (retail sportsbook) license.
Lottery & Gaming has always warned potential candidates that the background investigations it conducts are rigorous, thorough, and time-consuming.
“The Licensing site and Maryland Lottery and Gaming’s investigations are independent of the SWARC’s competitive application process,” Lottery and Gaming said in a news release on Thursday. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission assesses if a company or individual fulfills the state’s licensing requirements. SWARC will rate license applications and assess whether granting a license is in the public interest, as required by law.”
SWARC has the authority to grant up to 30 Class B facility permits and 60 mobile licenses, however, no one anticipates 60 online applications.
17 businesses are authorized for retail sports betting in MD
A total of 17 businesses were authorized for facility (retail) licenses under the state’s sports wagering statute. Lottery & Gaming said Thursday that two of the eight possible outstanding firms were undergoing background checks and three were working on applications, without naming them. Three of them haven’t been active in a long time. At the upcoming Lottery & Gaming Commission meeting on June 23, one retail application is scheduled to be submitted for approval.
Lottery & Gaming has been working on the development of the internet regulations, according to Deputy Director Jim Nielsen, and they are 95 percent complete. They must, however, go through a review and approval procedure.