Fanatics has moved one step closer to opening a sportsbook in Maryland. The Maryland Lotteries and Gaming (MLG) Commission unanimously approved the long-running sports merchandise company for retail sports betting operator license on Thursday. MLG may issue the permit after conducting a thorough licensing check into the company.
Alex Smith, Radical Betting and Gaming’s VP of Regulatory Affairs, praised the commission for working with the Fanatics as the company prepares to enter the American sports betting market.
“We expect this to be our first gaming license, and we are excited to reach this milestone,” Smith said.
Before Fanatics can open a retail sportsbook in the Old-Line State, it must first receive approval from the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC). If approved, the Fanatics retail sports betting license will be Maryland’s 10th authorized retail sports betting.
Last year, Fanatics announced that it would enter the sports betting industry. The retail company’s first license in Maryland follows the registration of the BetFanatics trademark in May.
Furthermore, Fanatics has yet to disclose with which sports betting facility it will partner, although it is expected to be one of the 17 sites permitted by state law to license the facility. Also, there has been an ongoing licensing procedure for the facilities since 2021.
Once online sports betting is legal in Maryland, each casino’s operational partner is projected to release a mobile app. The only exception will be Ocean Downs Casino, whose partner, TwinSpires, has stopped providing mobile sports betting.
In addition to those five, SWARC has granted sports wagering facility licenses to four other establishments. However, all three have yet to introduce a physical version of their sportsbook.
Meanwhile, small retail licenses are yet to be issued by the state. The application process, which will be regulated by competitive bidding, will begin later this year.
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