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Online sports betting off to fast start in Md. as more license applicants line up

State gaming officials are poised to give preliminary approval to three new applications for mobile sports betting licenses as well as two operators connected to two of those licenses. The Thursday votes set the stage for three more entrants into a new market that saw brisk business over the opening Thanksgiving weekend.

While there are no official initial numbers, GeoComply, a company that tracks online gaming within states, told that 477,000 unique accounts placed 16.5 million online sports bets from Nov. 23-27 in Maryland.

Nearly 4 million were placed on Thanksgiving Day, according to the gaming site.

The number of transactions in Maryland was double that of neighboring Virginia, a state with 2 million more people.

The three new applicants are:

  • DGC MD LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Gaming Corporation which operates sports wagering in seven different states including Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
  • Bally’s Corporation, an international casino and resort company that boasts 16 casinos, a racetrack, 5,300 hotel rooms and 10,500 employees. In addition to casinos, the company also owns of a number of interactive betting applications including Bally Bet, Jackpotjoy and Monkey Knife Fight. The company, through a separate entity, has also applied for an operator license in Maryland.
  • WynnBet, a subsidiary of Wynn Interactive whose majority owner is Wynn Resorts. The company operates the sports wagering app WynnBet in 11 states.

State gaming regulators said they found no problems that would prevent the issuance of a license in Maryland to any of the three applicants. .

All three are new entrants to Maryland’s gambling market, which includes six casinos and now sports wagering.

Earlier this month, a state panel approved the first 10 applications for mobile sports betting — all of whom were guaranteed a license for a physical location in state law. DGC, Bally’s and WynnBet were not guaranteed a license and so far, the mobile licenses will serve as their respective sports betting presence in the state.

Seven of those initial 10 licensees —  FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, PointsBet, BetRivers and Barstool Sportsbook — were operational last week headed into the Thanksgiving holiday.

Regulators said there are a total of 21 applicants for 60 available mobile wagering licenses.

The identities of the remaining seven applicants won’t be made public until they come before the lottery commission.

Should the panel vote as expected to qualify the new applicants, all three would be sent to the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission.

That panel has approved every applicant who was qualified by lottery and gaming officials. The final approval for the new licenses could come in time for all three to be running before Christmas.

The mobile licenses are expected to be the most lucrative in the state’s sports wagering industry.

Even so, most companies are projected to lose money in their first year of operation in the state.

Meanwhile, the state expects to receive about $26 million in tax revenue the first year. That grows incrementally to about $100 million projected for the fifth year.