Maryland Committee Awards Mobile Sports Betting Licenses to WynnBET, Bally Bet

With Wednesday’s awards, there are now 12 operators that have received their mobile sports betting licenses from the SWARC. Seven of those operators are live in the state.

Geoff Zochodne - Senior News Analyst at
Geoff Zochodne • Senior News Analyst
Dec 14, 2022 • 10:01 ET • 2 min read
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The pool of operators offering online sports betting in Maryland is slowly getting deeper, with another two bookmakers now on the cusp of launching in the Old Line State.  

Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) awarded mobile sports betting licenses on Wednesday to companies connected to WynnBET and Bally Bet

Those companies will now need to conduct controlled demonstrations and satisfy other operating criteria for the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) before their licenses are issued and they can begin running their online sports betting sites in the state.

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission found the Bally Bet and WynnBET-related companies qualified for mobile sports wagering licenses earlier in December. The regulators found the same two entities qualified to act as online sports wagering operators as well, and both companies intend to provide their own betting platforms. 

A busy start

However, with Wednesday’s awards, there are now 12 operators that have received their mobile sports betting licenses from the SWARC. Seven of those operators are live in the state.

There is even more room to run. The SWARC's commissioners and consultants say they are still reviewing another nine mobile sports wagering license applications they received this fall. Furthermore, Maryland law allows the SWARC to award up to 60 licenses for online sportsbooks. The SWARC is scheduled to meet next in January.

The MLGCA reported earlier this week that Marylanders wagered $186.1 million with the state's seven mobile sportsbooks in just nine days of action in November. 

“Mobile sports wagering has accounted for the bulk of the sports wagers placed in November,” SWARC Chair Tom Brandt said during Wednesday’s meeting. “And we're eager to see what the December numbers will look like.” 

A limited-time offer

The mobile handle included $63.8 million in tax-deductible free bets and other bonuses, which meant operators only owed $4,262 to the state for their early action.

That should change eventually, regulators say. While regulations do not limit the amount of promo play for an operator in their first year of operation, after that, it is capped at 20% of its taxable win from the past year. 

“Deducting promotional play obviously has an impact on the bottom line, and that’s why we have a cap that takes effect after each operator’s first full fiscal year,” Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin said in a press release. “It protects the state’s interests and ensures that sports wagering will generate revenue for education, as intended. By awarding large amounts of promotional play in their first fiscal year, the sportsbooks’ promo play amounts will be limited in their second year.”

There were also nine brick-and-mortar sportsbook facilities taking bets during November, with almost $33 million wagered at those locations during the month. The SWARC awarded another retail license on Wednesday for another Long Shot's location in Hagerstown; there is already a Long Shot's OTB in Frederick taking sports bets.

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