In a 5-2 vote, the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission awarded the first five sports betting licenses. At first, only in-person betting will be allowed, with mobile betting coming later down the road.
The lucky recipients of the first licenses are the Live! Casino and Hotel in Hanover, MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Hollywood Casino in Perryville, Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, and Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin.
The five lucky casinos were on the list of 17 gambling facilities that were up for consideration. Eventually, the state will open the application process for up to 30 in-person and 60 mobile licenses.
The casinos need to sign a memorandum of agreement, and there are a few steps that need to be done before sports betting can go live in the state.
The target date for the launch is 30 to 45 days away, possibly in January, just in time for the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl. Football, in general, is the most-watched sport and brings the highest revenues, so this would make perfect sense.
The state will have a 15% tax on the casino’s proceeds, which will mostly go towards education. It’s expected that the industry can generate around $100 million per year once both in-person and mobile betting are live.
While the excitement of in-person betting is enormous, consultants have pointed out that it generates only 5–15% of the total revenue in the states where both online and in-person betting are available.
Since the 2018 Supreme Court’s decision to lift the ban, the state has felt that it’s losing a big revenue potential to neighboring states. With the news of the five licenses, Maryland has become the latest state to legalize sports betting.