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Maryland Hands Out the First Five Sportsbooks Licences

It’s a new dawn to wagers in Maryland. The state has just issued its first five sportsbook licenses, and they are spread across the state. The new law legalizing the sportsbooks means a lot to betters across the state who love betting on their favorite sports.

The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission approved the five licenses for the state’s first legal sportsbooks. SWARC approved the licenses following a lengthy discussion and voting.

During voting, 5-2 results meant that the commission voted to approve all the applications. The retail sports approved could not start operating immediately but set for early January 2022 launch date.

Commissioner E. Randolph Marriner said:

“I am very pleased with this outcome. I know it was a long process, but we have been working hard to make sure that the regulations were fair and reasonable. We want to ensure that the public is protected from unscrupulous operators while allowing these businesses to thrive. This is a great day for Maryland and our residents.”

He further noted that Maryland has been losing revenue daily and believed that it’s in their mandate as the controlling commission not to bypass qualified people. By doing so, they protect the public interest and ensure that only those who meet the qualifications can operate.

Marriner also added that he believes that the commission did an excellent job ensuring that the applicants met the requirements. He said that the commission had no choice but to approve the license since no other options were available.

What sportsbooks got approved?

With the growing legalization of sports betting in the U.S, many bookmakers are applying for licenses to operate in states where the laws allow them. In Maryland, the commission received more than 50 applications.

According to Commissioner Marriner, the commission reviewed each application thoroughly before approving anyone. They considered various factors such as the applicant’s track record, financial stability, experience, location, and whether they would comply with the rules and regulations.

The commissioner went on to say that the commission made sure that the applicant was financially stable by ensuring that they have enough money to cover any losses during the first year of operation.

In addition, the commissioners ensured that the applicant would be able to pay out winnings promptly. They also wanted to see if the applicant has a history of paying out winnings.

List of approved Sportsbooks

  • Ocean Downs Casino (TwinSpires)
  • MGM National Harbor (BetMGM)
  • Live! Casino and Hotel (FanDuel Sportsbook)
  • Horseshoe Baltimore (Caesars Sportsbook)
  • Hollywood Casino (Penn National Gaming)

While the approval is good news for wagers, the retail sportsbooks will still need 30-45 days for MLGCA staff to approve, said John Martin, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency director.

Commissioner Cassandra Stevenson and Commissioner Frank Turner voted against the sportsbooks citing unequal representation and rush. It was evident that women’s representation was low, and they wanted diverse ownership to make the decision.

Turner also stated that the commission should not give licenses to companies that do not have experience in running a business.


As more sportsbooks get approval in Maryland, it will open up new opportunities for gamblers. The state has already seen a rise in gambling revenues, which means that the industry will grow.

However, the Commission must still review all the applications before granting licenses.

We will keep you updated on any changes regarding the licensing process.

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