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Md. regulators say mobile sports wagering can start next week

State gaming regulators said Thursday they plan to roll out mobile sports wagering on Wednesday but that not all of the new licensees will be ready.

A state commission approved 10 licensees Wednesday, leaving open the door for gamblers to place the first online bets before the end of the month.

We will launch on Wednesday, Nov. 23,” said John Martin, director of the state lottery. “The time is still to be determined. We should have an update on that as we get further into this final issuance phase.”

The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission Wednesday awarded an initial batch of mobile licenses to 10 applicants.

Included in the initial wave of approvals Wednesday are four casinos: Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore; Hollywood Casino in Perryville; Maryland Live in Hanover; and MGM in National Harbor.

Three off-track-betting venues — Greenmount Station in Hampstead; Long Shots in Frederick; and the Riverboat on the Potomac in southern Maryland — were qualified for mobile licenses.

Two other venues — Brooklyn Park-based Bingo World and the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium — were also qualified for licenses.

The commission also awarded a license to a company owned by Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder. That license and another for a physical sports book are tied to FedEx Field, home of the NFL franchise.

All 10 licensees were part of a group of more than a dozen guaranteed licenses for brick-and-mortar sports betting parlors.

Martin said the approvals by the review commission triggers gaming regulators to  immediately begin “our final stage of issuing those licenses.”

Gaming officials said they expect that will occur the day before Thanksgiving pending clearing of a number of final hurdles including a demonstration run for regulators.

Not everyone will be ready, however.

Three venues have told regulators they will not be able to take bets next week. Those licensees include Long Shots in Frederick and Greenmount Station in Carroll County — two off-track betting sites — as well as the license awarded to Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Commanders NFL team.

“Those three entities, while awarded licenses yesterday, will not be ready, as they have told us, for next week’s launch,” said Martin. “We will proceed with the other seven licensees with the intent to launch on Wednesday Nov. 23.”

There were just 21 applications filed for 60 available mobile licenses. Eleven of those applicants await initial qualification by state gaming regulators and the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission and approval by the review commission. That approval could come in December.

The mobile sports licenses are expected to be the most lucrative in the new industry.

Even so, the amounts will be dwarfed by other gaming revenues. In Las Vegas, sports betting overall is roughy 5% of the total gambling take.

Consultants for the state estimate Maryland will receive about $26 million in tax revenue the first year from online sports betting. That amount grows incrementally to about $100 million projected for the fifth year.

Last month, sports wagering in retail locations generated about $40 million in total wagers. The state will receive about $781,000. Year-to-date, the contribution to the state’s education trust fund is about $2.5 million from sports wagering.