In the American state of Maryland and a trio of land-based casinos has reportedly launched a joint appeal in an effort to get local regulators to issue them with their promised sportsbetting licenses.
According to a Tuesday report from the online news domain at MarylandMatters.org, the effort from the Horseshoe Baltimore, Live! Casino Hotel Maryland and MGM National Harbor properties comes after lawmakers passed measures earlier this year that are to see the small eastern state issue retail sport wagering licenses to every one of its six land-based casinos as well as a selection of some eleven other designated applicants.
However, the three venues are reportedly still awaiting their sportsbetting licenses despite having earlier been approved by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission. The source detailed that this delay is down to the fact that the newly-created Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) regulator has yet to officially sign off on any of the five sanctioned applications it received in October due to concerns that minority and female-owned businesses could be effectively shut out of the new industry.
In a letter to the Maryland General Assembly, the casino trio has reportedly urged legislators to make sure SWARC is following its obligatory protocols with regards to the 17 outstanding retail sportsbetting licenses. The properties also purportedly cited legal language approved in the spring in asserting that the seven-member regulator ‘shall review applications for sports wagering licenses’ in advance of awarding permission ‘to any applicant that meets the requirements for licensure under this subtitle.’
Reportedly read the correspondence…
“The structure of this bill was very complex but it explicitly mandated that 17 named entities in the state receive ‘Class A’ retail sports wagering licenses as long as they pass the scrutiny of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission. While there has been no formal correspondence to the applicants about a justification for these delays, we understand from media reports that the delays are due to a desire to conduct a second disparity study to ‘determine whether there is a compelling interest to implement remedial measures to assist minorities and women in the sports wagering industry’.”
MarylandMatters.org reported that SWARC last met on November 3 without endorsing any of the five retail sportsbetting licenses earlier signed off by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission. This lethargy purportedly drew criticism from Maryland Governor Lawrence Hogan who called the delay ‘a problem’ that could well result in the state being ‘sued by all the people whose licenses have already been approved.’
In the meantime, the three casinos in ‘The Old Line State’ reportedly declared that they have ‘hired hundreds of Marylanders to begin working’ in newly-constructed sports wagering areas but that these new members of staff have yet to enjoy their first day on the job. They purportedly finished by noting that this pause means that the workers have not yet received ‘a starting date for their employment’ and that this facilitates a situation where they are unable to enjoy ‘critical health benefits for themselves and their families during a global pandemic.’