PointsBet Maryland Qualifies for Sports Betting Operating License

Posted on November 19, 2021

After securing a strategic partnership to access the Maryland sports betting market, PointsBet Maryland found itself securing another win this week.

During a Thursday meeting, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission confirmed that PointsBet, which had previously announced a partnership with Riverboat on the Potomac, has qualified for a sports-wagering operating license.

This means that the sportsbook is one inch closer to docking at the Potomac and taking bets.

Proven track record helps PointsBet Maryland

So, how did PointsBet Maryland join five Maryland casinos that are also moving toward legal sports betting?

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC) serves as an advisory board for the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA). There’s no doubt that the commission holds a lot of power in the process of approving sports wagering licenses.

By law, Maryland Lottery and Gaming officials can apply alternative licensing standards to applicants. MD legislation states this can happen if “the licensing standards are comprehensive and thorough and provide similar and adequate safeguards” to those required in Maryland.

In this case, commission members found that PointsBet qualified for a sports license because the company has licenses in three other states with licensing standards similar to Maryland’s.

PointsBet’s play on sports gambling in Maryland

So, what will PointsBet MD look like?

Let’s look at the plans and the partnership with Riverboat on the Potomac.

PointsBet Maryland partners with Riverboat on the Potomac

PointsBet struck a 10-year deal with Riverboat on the Potomac. An off-track betting facility and restaurant, Riverboat is one of the 17 designated entities that are eligible to apply for a sports wagering license. The pre-named entities include casinos, horse racing tracks and even professional sports teams.

Riverboat on the Potomac is located in Colonial, VA. But because the state of Maryland controls the Potomac River, customers are technically in Maryland as soon as they walk onto the riverfront property.

This partnership will allow PointsBet to provide retail and online sports betting to Marylanders and those nearby Virginians.

Riverboat’s perks from this deal

PointsBet’s deal with the Riverboat is subject to necessary regulatory approvals and licenses. However, this deal comes with some perks for the venue, which also serves as an event center.

PointsBet, for example, will cover all online and retail sportsbook market access fees. It’ll also cover licensing and regulatory costs. That’s a big get for the riverboat venue, which has a much smaller budget than those mega-buck Maryland casinos.

Riverboat will also receive a portion of net gaming revenues from the sportsbook operations when they launch. However, officials didn’t disclose financial terms of the arrangement.

Next steps for PointsBet Maryland

Currently, Maryland Lottery and Gaming is conducting a licensing investigation of PointsBet. Officials said these investigations take time.

But if all things go well, the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission, which has to provide the final sign-off, will award PointsBet a license.

If history repeats itself as seen with the five Maryland casinos that each received a sports betting license, this process could take some time.

As it stands, regulators hope to have in-person betting (retail betting) live by the new year.

Chelsea T. Johnson Avatar
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Chelsea T. Johnson

Chelsea Johnson is a seasoned journalist with experience working as a reporter for WJAC-TV, 105.7 The Fan WJZ-FM, and FOX Sports Radio in Washington, DC. Her work also includes making an impact in the top newsrooms in the country at WBAL-TV in Baltimore and ESPN in Bristol, CT.

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