2 more Maryland casinos cleared for sports betting — almost

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission has cleared Hollywood Casino in Perryville, and Ocean Downs Casino, in Berlin, for sports betting, and has forwarded its recommendation on to the final step.

They join MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino & Hotel and Baltimore’s Horseshoe casino, which received Lottery and Gaming approval earlier this month.

The final say is up to the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission, which was scheduled for vote on MGM, Live! And Horseshoe last week, but that meeting was postponed. The postponement came a week after Gov. Larry Hogan urged SWARC to speed up the process.

In a statement Thursday shortly after Lottery and Gaming’s announcement, Hogan issued the following statement:

“No one is pushing harder than I am to get sports betting up and running here in the State of Maryland,” Hogan said. “Our administration has now cleared five licenses for sports betting, implementing the referendum approved by voters and the law passed by the General Assembly.

Hogan said he is looking for the legislature’s Sports Wagering Applicant Review Commission (SWARC) to swiftly approve the licenses as Marylanders are hoping to place bets on the NFL and March Madness.

In August, SWARC unanimously voted that Lottery and Gaming’s recommendations would be sufficient for awarding the licenses.

“We’ll continue sending applications to the SWARC so the it can make awards and sports wagering can launch. By late fall. It is want the public wants and expects, and we’re doing everything we can to deliver it,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin.

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

SWARC includes members appointed by the Governor, as well as leaders in the state House and Senate.

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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