Frequently Asked Questions
When can businesses apply for Class B or mobile sports wagering licenses? (updated 10/21/22)
SWARC accepted applications and non-refundable application fees for Class B facility licenses and mobile licenses from Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022 through Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. The application window is now closed.
Is Oct. 21, 2022 the only deadline to submit applications for mobile and Class B facility licenses? (updated 10/21/22)
No other application windows are planned at this time. Under the sports wagering law, SWARC is authorized to award up to 60 mobile licenses and up to 30 Class B facility licenses. If SWARC does not award the maximum numbers of licenses, SWARC may (but is not required to) create additional application windows for any portion of the remaining mobile licenses or Class B facility licenses. The establishment of any additional application windows is at SWARC’s discretion and would require approval of a majority of SWARC members.
Will the SWARC provide information to businesses on how to get involved in sports wagering?
Yes. SWARC held an informational seminar in May 2022 for businesses and individuals interested in knowing more about the sports wagering business. A video of the event is available.
Join our informational email list to be informed of new developments.
How do the roles of the SWARC and Maryland Lottery and Gaming differ in Maryland's sports wagering program?
The SWARC will evaluate each applicant’s suitability for a sports wagering license and determine whether awarding a license to a given applicant is in the public interest. To the extent permitted by federal and state law, the SWARC will actively seek to achieve racial, ethnic and gender diversity when approving applicants. Other criteria include business plans and physical location.
Maryland Lottery and Gaming conducts criminal and financial background investigations of applicants to determine if they have the integrity and financial stability to be qualified to conduct sports wagering operations. In addition, Maryland Lottery and Gaming serves as regulator of the state’s sports wagering market. Its staff promulgated and enforces regulations covering sports wagering operations and licensing investigations. Maryland Lottery and Gaming staff will also monitor sports wagering revenues and contributions to the state and report those figures monthly, and establish a voluntary exclusion program for sports wagering.
How does a business become approved and licensed to offer sports wagering?
See the Applications page for a full description of the process.
What is involved in the background investigations that Maryland Lottery and Gaming conducts to determine if a business is qualified for a sports wagering license?
Maryland Lottery and Gaming conducts criminal and extensive financial background investigations of all applicants for sports wagering facility or mobile licenses, sports wagering facility or mobile operators and sports wagering contractors to determine if they possess the requisite honesty, integrity, good character and financial stability to be licensed. These investigations probe deeply into the finances of each business that seeks a license. Individuals and entities that hold 5% or more beneficial ownership in a business that seeks a license are regarded as “principal entities” and “institutional investors” and are subject to similar investigations in conjunction with the investigation of the business itself. Examples of the documents that applicants must file are available on the Sports Wagering Licensing page at mdgaming.com.
How does a business contact Maryland Lottery and Gaming with questions about background investigations?
Maryland Lottery and Gaming’s Licensing Division can be reached at 410-230-2699 or by email at [email protected].
What retail sports wagering locations were designated in Maryland's sports wagering law?
The SWARC is required to award licenses to entities that are specified in SWL § 9-1E-06(a) if they apply and are found by Maryland Lottery and Gaming to be qualified. Those businesses, which are listed below, include casinos, professional sports stadiums, horse racing tracks, off-track betting facilities and bingo halls with at least 200 electronic instant bingo machines.
The qualification of any applicant is determined via Maryland Lottery and Gaming background investigations.
The following locations were specified in the Sports Wagering Law:
- MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill
- Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover
- Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore City
- M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore City
- Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore City
- FedEx Field in Landover
- Note: Additional Class A-1 licensees may be awarded to the owner (or designee of the owner) of any future National Basketball Association, National Hockey League or Major League Soccer franchise that owns or leases a stadium in Maryland
- Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin
- Hollywood Casino in Perryville
- Rocky Gap Casino in Flintstone
- Laurel Park Race Track in Laurel and Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore City (sharing a single license)
Class B (Both B-1 and B-2)
- Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium
- Bingo World in Baltimore (Anne Arundel County)
- Rod-n-Reel in Chesapeake Beach
- Jockey Bar and Grill in Boonsboro
- Greenmount Station in Hampstead
- Long Shot’s in Frederick
- Riverboat on the Potomac in Colonial Beach, Va. (located in Maryland waters of the Potomac River)
In addition to the locations that were designated in the law, what other locations can apply for a sports wagering license? (updated 7/5/22)
The sports wagering law — § 9-1E-06(a)(2) — allows for up to 30 additional Class B sports wagering facilities to be selected through a competitive process managed by the SWARC. The law specifies exclusion zones where no sports wagering facilities may be located. During the 2022 Maryland General Assembly session, lawmakers passed HB942, which amended certain exclusion zones.
HB942 became effective on July 1, 2022, and the following provisions now exist regarding the physical locations of sports wagering facilities:
Provision 1: Class B facilities are prohibited within a 15-mile radius of the three Class A-2 casinos (Rocky Gap Casino, Hollywood Casino, Ocean Downs Casino). In accordance with HB942, the 15-mile exclusion zone around Rocky Gap Casino in Allegany County will not be enforced before the casino has been issued a sports wagering facility license. Applicants will be permitted to apply for Class B-1 or Class B-2 licenses for facilities located within 15 miles of Rocky Gap Casino, and may be issued such licenses, as long as Rocky Gap Casino has not been issued a sports wagering facility license.
Provision 2: Class B facilities are prohibited within a 1.5-mile radius of Class A locations that are not named in Provision 1.
Provision 3: A Class B facility may not be located within a 1.5-mile radius of another Class B facility, with the following exceptions regarding three locations that were designated in the sports wagering law:
- Class B facilities may not be located within a 15-mile radius of Riverboat on the Potomac in Charles County.
- Class B facilities may not be located within a 10-mile radius of Greenmount Station in Hampstead.
- Class B facilities may not be located within a 5-mile radius of Long Shot’s in Frederick.
Click here to view a map of the locations that were designated in the law and the exclusion zones around them. Use the search bar at the top left to enter an address to see whether it is located in an exclusion zone. The map also includes enterprise and opportunity zones. The map is for reference only. Final determination about whether an address is located in an exclusion, enterprise or opportunity zone will be made by SWARC.
Prior to submitting their applications, will businesses be informed if their facilities are located in an exclusion zone? (updated 4/13/22)
Yes. Maryland Lottery and Gaming staff will review the locations of prospective applicants for sports wagering facility licenses and will inform them if their business is within an exclusion zone. Application fees and documents necessary for licensing qualification background investigations will not be accepted from facilities that are located within exclusion zones.
Can entities or individuals apply for a Class B facility license if the physical location of the facility is not zoned for such a business? (updated 9/21/22)
No. It is the applicant’s responsibility to verify that local, municipal and county zoning laws allow for a sports wagering facility at the location where the applicant plans to operate a Class B sportsbook.
What are the differences between the two types of Class A facility licenses and the two types of Class B facility licenses?
- Class A-1: Casinos with more than 1,000 video lottery terminals; and the owner (or designee) of professional major league sports franchises or stadiums in Maryland.
- Class A-2: Casinos with fewer than 1,000 video lottery terminals; and Pimlico and Laurel horse racing tracks.
- Class B-1: Businesses with 25 or more equivalent full-time employees; or any business that has more than $3 million in annual gross receipts.
- Class B-2: Businesses with 24 or fewer equivalent full-time employees; or any business that has less than $3 million in annual gross receipts.
What are the application fees for each type of license?
SWL § 9-1E-06(b) specifies the application fee each applicant for a sports wagering license must pay. The application fee must be submitted with the application, is non-refundable, and varies by classification:
- Class A-1: $2 million
- Class A-2: $1 million
- Class B-1: $250,000
- Class B-2: $50,000
- Mobile/online: $500,000
Additionally, applicants must pay the costs of background investigations conducted by Maryland Lottery and Gaming.
Aside from the application fee, what other costs are there for applicants?
Each sports wagering applicant must reimburse Maryland Lottery and Gaming for the cost of its sports wagering licensing background investigation. These costs will vary widely based upon the complexity of each applicant’s personal or business finances.
Is there financial assistance available for small businesses that are interested in becoming sports wagering licensees? (updated 4/25/22)
Yes. The sports wagering law established the Small, Minority-owned Business Sports Wagering Assistance Fund (SWAF) which is administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce. The fund will provide grants or loans to small or minority-owned businesses to be used for sports wagering license application fees, sports wagering operations, or targeted training to support participation in the sports wagering industry. For information and to inquire further, visit the SWAF page of the Department of Commerce website or view the SWAF brochure.
Are all retail locations required to provide office space for Maryland Lottery and Gaming staff or a dedicated cage/count room?
As indicated in Maryland Lottery and Gaming’s operational regulations, accommodations will be made to help smaller licensees meet space and infrastructure requirements that are in line with the space available in their facilities. Small facilities need not provide dedicated office space.
What is the difference between a Sports Wagering Contractor and a Non-Sports Wagering Vendor?
The SWARC does not review or award licenses to sports wagering contractors or non-sports wagering vendors, however both types of entities must be reviewed by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC), and sports wagering contractors must be licensed by the MLGCC.
Sports Wagering Contractors
In general, sports wagering contractors provide sports wagering goods and services (e.g., manufacturers of wagering system platforms, wagering terminals, kiosks, wagering technology and associated equipment; technicians who maintain wagering system platforms, terminals and kiosks; and odds providers) that are:
- Essential for the operation of a sports wagering facility, and/or
- Have the ability to affect the outcome of sports wagering.
Sports wagering contractors are required to be licensed by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.
Non-Sports Wagering Vendors
In general, non-sports wagering vendors provide non-sports wagering goods and services that are not essential for the wagering operation and cannot affect the outcome of sports wagering (e.g., suppliers of food and beverages; refuse handlers; janitorial and maintenance companies; geolocation and identity verification providers; marketing and advertising companies; payment processing and payroll services and other employer-related services).
Non-sports wagering vendors are required to be approved by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.