The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission, facing criticism from the governor’s office, has reworked its licensing criteria that will determine which applicants are approved to operate online sports betting.
During the November 2020 election, Maryland residents voted to allow sports betting. The state General Assembly passed a bill intended to achieve equity in its online gaming industry.
A disparity analysis was commissioned by SWARC. The study is to determine if Maryland’s gaming industry, which is limited to six brick-and-mortar casinos and the state-run lottery, has resulted in any sort of discrimination that warrants heightened preference for diverse sports betting applicants.
In states where retail and online bets are allowed, the majority of the betting action takes place over the internet. Marylanders are eager to have legal, regulated sportsbooks on their mobile devices in time for the start of the Baltimore Ravens football season in September.
SWARC asked its legal staffers to determine if the commission can expedite the online sports betting licensing process by changing the racial, ethnic, and gender criteria. The solution had been reached during yesterday’s meeting.
The elimination of online sports betting licensing standards will allow SWARC to more easily issue mobile permits for entities already qualified and regulated by other state minority laws, most specifically the six land-based casinos.
The state will achieve racial, ethnic, and gender diversity among licensees in the future if race and gender are not included in the licensing criteria. Once the disparity analysis is completed, the state will issue additional mobile and small business sports betting licenses.
The state needs to demonstrate discrimination in a marketplace before it can give preferential consideration to minority applicants.
In order to determine whether there is a legal basis to implement race or gender-conscious measures in the application and evaluation process, SWARC is required to conduct an industry analysis.
The amended online licensing procedures were signed off by the SWARC Commissioners. The Maryland Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review gives emergency approval to the updated regulatory process.
SWARC will begin issuing permits to approved entities if the legislature ratifies the altered online sportsbook licensing process.
More than 90 percent of sports bets will be placed online once mobile books are operational, according to gaming consultants hired by the state.
The Maryland Sports Application Review Commission (SWARC), facing criticism from the governor’s office, has reworked its licensing criteria that will determine which applicants are approved to operate online sports betting. SWARC recently asked its legal staffers to determine if the commission can expedite the online sports betting licensing process by reworking the racial, ethnic, and gender grading criteria.