Ocean Downs, Hollywood Casino Perryville get Maryland sports betting licenses

Ocean Downs, Hollywood Casino Perryville get Maryland sports betting licenses

The Maryland Lottery & Gaming Commission has confirmed that it has granted sports betting licenses to Berlin-based Ocean Downs Casino and Perryville-based Hollywood Casino, putting the two gaming properties a step closure to incorporate legalized sports betting to the suite of their services.

Ocean Downs Casino and Hollywood Casino Perryville are operated by Churchill Downs Inc. and the Penn National Gaming Inc., respectively. After obtaining the sports betting licenses from the state’s gaming regulator, Ocean Downs and Hollywood Casino are all set to join the other three sports betting operators, viz. Horseshoe Baltimore, Live Casino & Hotel and MGM National Harbor. The Live Casino & Hotel is situated in Hanover, while MGM National Harbor is located in Oxon Hill area of the Old Line State. All the aforementioned five gaming operators have successfully cleared the initial review process for sports wagering licenses.

After the state regulator’s announcement of granting of sports betting licenses to Ocean Downs and Hollywood Casino Perryville, Gov. Larry Hogan stressed that no one was pushing harder than him to get sports betting up and running across the Mid-Atlantic state.

Gov. Hogan’s official statement reads, “Our administration has now cleared five licenses for sports betting, implementing the referendum approved by voters and the law passed by the General Assembly … we now expect the legislature’s Sports Wagering Applicant Review Commission to swiftly approve these licenses.”

Maryland officially legalized sports betting in November 2020, after state voters approved a ballot question asking about sports betting legalization by a 2-1 margin. Earlier in the year, the state’s senators unanimously voted (47-0) in favor of a sports betting referendum.

The official launch of sports betting in Maryland has long been plagued by regulatory delays. When asked about the long delays, Director of Maryland Lottery & Gaming, John Martin, said the process was a very measured one, and there was no concrete date for the launch.

Only a handful of U.S. states are left without legalized sports betting. All the states except Hawaii, Utah, Vermont, Kentucky, Georgia, and South Carolina, have already granted legal status to sports betting.

Prior to Nov. 2020, Maryland was only remaining state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States that hadn’t legalized sports wagering. With the legalization of the activity, the Old Line State has joined Washington D.C., Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.