MGM National Harbor cleared for sports betting

MGM National Harbor
MGM National Harbor opened in December 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission has approved MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino & Hotel and Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino for sports wagering, saying all three have met the qualification requirements.

It is the second-to-last step for official approval of the casinos, though the final step is all but certain.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming has forwarded the casinos’ application to the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission, which voted unanimously in August that Maryland Lottery and Gaming’s qualification standards are sufficient for it to award the licenses.

“Our team is diligently implementing the sports wagering law, and we’re one step closer to the first in-person wagers, which we hope will take place by late fall,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming director John Martin.

The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission meets next on Oct. 14, when it is expected to formally award the sports betting licenses to the three casinos.

All three casinos are prepared for sports betting. Live! Casino, a nearly 14,000-square-foot sports bar designed with sports wagering in mind, opened in April. At MGM National Harbor, the BetMGM Sportsbook & Lounge is set to open. At Horseshoe Casino, work is underway to convert space for a Caesars Sportsbook-branded lounge.

Maryland voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize sports betting in 2020. Maryland lawmakers approved the betting deal in April and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed the legislation into law in May.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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