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Online sports betting licenses may be qualified starting Thursday

This Sept. 9, 2018 file photo shows football fans waiting for kickoff in the sports betting lounge at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. Maryland could start approving online sports betting licenses on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry, FILE)

Maryland will inch close to online sports betting Thursday when state regulators start to qualify an initial wave of applicants for the highly anticipated and lucrative gaming licenses.

UPDATE: 10 mobile sports betting applicants advanced by Md. regulators

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission is expected to take up an initial 10 applications for licenses and an additional 10 applications for operator licenses.

Sixty mobile sports betting licenses are available.

Operator licenses do not count against the five dozen available mobile sports betting licenses.

Qualification by the commission is an initial step in the licensing process. 

Once qualified, only the applicants for licenses will need approval by the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission. Operators will not need that extra approval.

The batch up for approval on Thursday may not be the last applications to be reviewed. Regulators expected to see some late filings as the deadline approached last Friday.

A spokesman at the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission said information would be released by the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission “at a time it deems appropriate.”

There are few, if any surprises in the initial batch of applications. Many of those granted licenses for retail sports book facilities also applied for mobile licenses. All of the 10 applicants for mobile sports wagering licenses were guaranteed licenses for physical locations under a law passed in 2021.

The relationships between the various applicants can often be difficult to decipher. Gaming regulators do not comment on those relationships during the qualification process.

Here’s a look at the applicants:

  • Arundel Amusements, more commonly known as the Brooklyn Park-based Bingo World, has applied for a mobile sports betting license.

Bingo World was one of the companies guaranteed a license in state law. The venue opened the doors to its physical sports book in August. The company partnered with Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive as its operator.

Rush Street Interactive has filed an application for a mobile operator license which is also before gaming regulators on Thursday.

  • Crown Maryland Online Gaming, a company owned by DraftKings, has applied for both a mobile sports wagering and operator’s license.

DraftKings also owns Crown MD Gaming LLC, which was awarded an operator license for the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium.

  • Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore has applied for a mobile license under the corporation known as CZR Maryland Mobile Opportunity. The company announced its application in early October.

The Baltimore casino was one of the venues guaranteed a sports betting license and took its first in-person bets last December. The company partnered with London-based William Hill.

Gaming officials are expected to also take up the application of American Wagering Inc. for an operator license. American Wagering Inc. is owned by William Hill. 

  • Hampstead-based Greenmount OTB has also applied for a mobile license. The company was awarded its retail license in December. The facility held two demonstration days in the last week and is expected to start taking its first official bets on Oct. 28.

The company partnered with Parx, a Pennsylvania-based casino and gaming company, to be the operator of the facility.

Parx has applied for a mobile operators license.

  • Long Shots OTB in Frederick was guaranteed a retail license in state law. Gaming regulators Thursday will be asked to qualify the off-track-betting site for both a retail and mobile sports wagering license.

In August, state regulators awarded BetFred an operators license for the facility. The company operates sports books in the United States and United Kingdom.

On Thursday, regulators will be asked to qualify BetFred for a mobile wagering operators license.

  • Daniel Snyder and the Washington Commanders NFL franchise have applied for a mobile license through its Maryland Stadium Sub LLC. A retail license, guaranteed by law was approved in August.

The team’s stadium venue has yet to clear final regulatory approvals and has not yet taken its first bets.

Snyder was awarded a similar license in Virginia in April and has partnered with FanDuel.

FanDuel merged with Ireland-based BetFair in 2018. BetFair has applied for an operator license in Maryland. That application is also on Thursday’s gaming commission agenda. Available public records do not specifically identify the two applicants as partners.

  • MGM National Harbor has applied for a mobile sports wagering license under the corporate name BetMGM Maryland Sports. BetMGM LLC, doing business as Roar Digital has applied for a mobile operator license.
  • The operators of Hollywood Casino in Cecil County have applied for a license under the Penn Maryland OSB corporation. Penn Sports Interactive has also applied for a mobile operator license.
  • The owners of Maryland Live Casino have applied for a mobile license under the corporate name PPE Maryland Mobile. The casino has partnered with FanDuel for its retail operation.

BetFair, majority owner of FanDuel, has applied for an operators license. It is not immediately clear with whom the applicant is partnering.

  • Riverboat on the Potomac, the off-track-betting site, has applied for a mobile license. The facility, whose entrance is on the Virginia side of the Potomac but governed by Maryland law by virtual of being in the river controlled by the Old Line State, began taking its first sports bets in September.

The company partnered with Australia-based PointsBet as the operator for the retail site. That company has also applied for a mobile operator license.

  • FBG Enterprises Opco has also applied for an operator’s license. The Florida-based company is a manufacturer and retailer of licensed sportswear, sports collectibles, NFTs, trading cards, and sports merchandise, as well as sports betting and iGaming.

Industry analysts do not expect the company to have a mobile sports betting app ready for the market until January.