Maryland state gaming regulators moved closer to a long-awaited entry into mobile sports Thursday by qualifying 10 applicants for licenses.
Preliminary votes by the Maryland Gaming Control and Lottery Commission will put the candidates forward for final approval in November.
The commission certified 10 applicants for mobile licenses. Among that batch were four casinos: Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore; Hollywood Casino in Perryville; Maryland Lives in Hanover; and MGM in National Harbor.
Three off-road betting centers – Greenmount Station in Hampstead; Long Views in Frederick; and Riverboat on the Potomac in southern Maryland – also qualified for mobile licenses.
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Until now, state gaming regulators have been unable to impose diversity requirements on license holders. Nevertheless, two ownership groups stood out from the rest: Long Shots, which is fully owned by women, and Riverboat on the Potomac, which is owned by Black and Indian.
Greenmount Station was given permission to sell last year. The facility completed a two-day trial for state regulators. Game officials said Thursday that they expect the Carroll County site to open to the public on Friday.
Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Commanders, also qualified for a mobile license. He obtained a license for a sports betting parlor at FedEx Field in Landover. That site is expected to open by the end of the year.
Two other locations — Bingo World based in Brooklyn Park and the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium — were also eligible for permits.
Certification from the commission is the first step in the licensing process.
All 10 applicants must still receive approval from the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission. That panel is expected to meet in November.
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Once approved, licensees must satisfy the final requirements of state lottery and gaming officials before mobile betting is accepted.
Including the 10 qualified applicants this week, the state can issue up to 60 mobile sports betting licenses.
The batch approved Thursday is not expected to be the last applications to be reviewed. Regulators last Friday expected to see late filings as the deadline neared.
The next round of candidates could come before the commission as early as its next scheduled meeting on November 17.
The commission also approved applications for 10 mobile sports operator license applicants: American Wagering; BetFair; BetFred; MGM; Crown Maryland Gaming LLC (DraftKings); FBGenterprises (Fanatics); Parx Interactive; Penn Sports; PointsBet; and RSI Maryland.
Implementation companies usually partner with license holders, providing the technology and making opportunities.
Operator licenses do not count against the five dozen mobile sports betting licenses available. They also do not require additional approval from the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission.