Maryland and Massachusetts Award More Online Sports Betting Licenses

WynnBet & Bally Bet: Coming Soon to Maryland!

Just a few weeks after Maryland’s Nov. 23 online sports betting launch, the state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) has awarded two more licenses in addition to the 10 already approved in the state. The two licenses were given to WynnBet and Bally Bet, who now join Betfred, betPARX, and Fanatics as operators that have a license, but have not yet launched.

According to a SWARC press release: “after being awarded a license by SWARC, each business must conduct a controlled demonstration, ensuring that its systems and internal control procedures are functioning correctly. Once a business has successfully completed these steps, Maryland Lottery and Gaming is authorized to issue a license allowing the business to begin operations.”

No timeline was given for Wynn and Bally’s launch plans, however, they are expected to come in 2023.

Successful Maryland Launch

The expansion of their market comes just days after the November sports wagering revenue report was released, which showed that mobile and retail sports bets exceeded $200 million in the month. Online wagering was live for just eight of those November days, and generated north of $186 million (roughly 85% of total).

“Mobile sports wagering has accounted for the bulk of the sports wagers placed in November, and we’re eager to see what the December numbers will look like,” SWARC Chairman Thomas Brandt said at the Wednesday meeting.

Wynn Wins Massachusetts

Wynn has been busy in other states as well, having just been awarded the first online sports betting license in Massachusetts. After a six-seven hour deliberation, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) unanimously approved Wynn to operate in the Commonwealth via a Category 3 mobile license.

It joins its partner, Encore Boston Harbor, who received the first Category 1 retail sports betting license in the state last week. Wynn is “tethered” to Encore, and will use one of its two available online skins.

Per the MGC’s press release, the commission added a caveat to Wynn’s licensing. “Commissioners put conditions on the awarding of this license, including WynnBET providing the MGC with information on the company’s current vendor diversity statistics and establishing goals on diversity spend in advance of operating sports wagering in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

This stipulation honors the state’s Expanded Gaming Act from 2011. This act enforces that operators in the state offer “a transparent and competitive bidding process, maximum long-term value to the Commonwealth, protection for host and surrounding communities, mitigation for social impacts and costs and ensuring the nation’s best and most rigorous public safety, regulatory and enforcement mechanisms.”

Next Steps in MA

Next on the agenda is Caesars Sportsbook, who is vying for the second online skin of Encore’s. After that, the MGC will turn its focus to the state’s two other retail casinos: MGM Springfield who plans to operate BetMGM, and Plainridge Park, who will operate its Barstool Sportsbook, and Fanatics Sportsbook.

The MGC hopes to have retail sports betting at the state’s three casinos rolling by January 2023, in time for the Super Bowl. Online sports betting is expected to follow in March, hopefully in time for the NCAA March Madness tournament. 

Mia Fowler is a graduate of Chapman University where she studied business marketing and journalism and played on the women’s soccer team. Following her 16-year journey with soccer, she started writing for Lineups.com. She specifically enjoys analysis of the NFL.

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