Wednesday punctuated a busy week in Maryland sports betting, as the state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) awarded a pair of sports betting licenses to off-track betting (OTB) facilities. Riverboat-on-the-Potomac and Long Shot’s were the two entities to receive licenses. Riverboat-on-the-Potomac is partnered with PointsBet, while Long Shot’s hasn’t announced a partnership with a major sportsbook.
PointsBet was in Maryland sports betting news for another reason Wednesday, as the University of Maryland became the fifth university to partner with a sportsbook. Louisiana State (Caesars), Denver (SuperBook), Colorado (PointsBet), and UNLV (DraftKings) are other colleges with sportsbook partnerships.
“Investing in the University of Maryland athletics program expands our ability to impact local communities and the greater DMV region, while also connecting PointsBet with alumni that remain actively involved in reverence to their alma mater,” PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken said in a press release.
Penn National Gaming will also have a noteworthy stake in the early stages of Maryland sports betting, as it will be involved with two of the first five Maryland casinos expected to launch retail sports betting operations. Penn National/Barstool Sportsbook has a partnership with Hollywood Casino Perryville, which was awarded a sports betting license on Nov. 18. And a recent real estate move saw Gaming and Leisure Properties, a corporate spinoff from Penn National, acquire Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland.
Legal retail sports betting will launch in Maryland at MGM National Harbor (BetMGM) on Thursday, while Horseshoe Casino (Caesars) and Live! Casino (FanDuel) will launch retail sportsbooks Friday. MGM National Harbor is located in Oxon Hill, while Horseshoe Casino is in Baltimore and Live! Casino is in Hanover.
Our new @BetMGM Sportsbook & Lounge is officially opening just in time to take bets for the game this Thursday night.
The lounge features:
⚪ A 360-degree jumbotron over the bar
⚪ A 110 ft wraparound screen w/ stadium seating
⚪ Mobile food & drink ordering right to your seat pic.twitter.com/gITq7UBGHL
— MGM National Harbor (@MGMNatlHarbor) December 7, 2021
SWARC awards two licenses
As noted above, the SWARC awarded licenses to Riverboat-on-the-Potomac and Long Shot’s. Both entities, which were among the 17 locations named under Maryland law to receive sports betting licenses, have diverse ownership: Riverboat-on-the-Potomac is minority-owned and Long Shot’s is woman-owned.
The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission awards sports betting licenses to Riverboat-on-the-Potomac (PointsBet) and Long Shot’s. Each entity has to go through a final approval step with the lottery to launch their respective retail sports betting options.
— Bennett Conlin (@BennettConlin) December 8, 2021
“I am thrilled to be a trailblazer for a diverse and successful sports betting industry in the state of Maryland,” Alyse Cohen, owner of Long Shot’s, said in a press release. “We have exciting plans for our retail sportsbook that will make it a centerpiece to the economic and cultural vibrancy of the fastest growing county in the state. I appreciate the staff at the Maryland Lottery for working with Long Shot’s through the rigorous licensing process. We also look forward to working with the SWARC as the state establishes a mobile sports betting market that meets the goals of the legislature.”
The following seven Maryland locations have been awarded retail sports betting licenses as of Wednesday afternoon:
- Hollywood Casino (Penn National Gaming/Barstool Sportsbook)
- Horseshoe Casino (Caesars)
- Live! Casino (FanDuel)
- MGM National Harbor (BetMGM)
- Ocean Downs Casino (TwinSpires)
- Riverboat-on-the-Potomac (PointsBet)
- Long Shot’s
For Riverboat-on-the-Potomac and Long Shot’s, the next step in the approval process involves the lottery. Each entity needs to go through some procedural requirements, like having the lottery check their accounting systems, security, and responsible gaming practices.
For context, MGM National Harbor, Horseshoe Casino, and Live! Casino were awarded licenses by the SWARC on Nov. 18. It took each entity about three weeks to be ready to launch their respective sports betting platforms. Hollywood Casino and Ocean Downs Casino both plan to launch in early 2022, according to The Baltimore Sun.