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Sports Betting Commission Adds Diversity Requirements For Applicants To Receive Mobile Sports Betting Licenses

When the legislature approved the law last year, it called for fairness in the sports betting industry, especially since predominantly white-owned businesses were licensed when the state’s medical cannabis industry was launched almost five years ago. I was. Photo by Daniel E. Gaines.

Maryland’s Sports Betting Application Review Board unanimously approved a policy amendment Friday that requires businesses with mobile betting licenses in Maryland to submit diversity plans.

The plan, which is submitted to a committee known as SWARC within 30 days of approval of the license, includes acquiring a diverse group of owners or contractors, conducting diversity-related events, and achieving diversity objectives. It should include a strategy for proposing timelines and benchmarks for

Applicants also make “good faith efforts” to achieve diversity goals, report diversity metrics to the Lottery and Gaming Control Board of Maryland, and make their diversity plans available to the public. You should select “yes” to three boxes that summarize:

According to the addendum, “SWARC considers any kind of diverse group for which an applicant can demonstrate that an individual has been disadvantaged. It’s beneficial.”

A committee member asked what happens if the diversity plan is inadequate.

“There is no opportunity to revoke the license. The license has been awarded,” said Assistant Attorney General David Stamper.

James Butler, managing director of organizational compliance for the state Lottery and Gaming Authority, said the agency and the commission work with applicants to ensure they meet diversity standards. “We will develop a corrective action plan.”

Rep. Darryl Burns, D-Prince George, chair of the Maryland Legislative Caucus, said he remained pleased with SWARC’s efforts to ensure fairness and inclusiveness were part of the process. I was. Maryland is considered one of the leading states in the nation to encourage minority and women-owned businesses to participate in the sports betting industry.

However, Barnes said the approval process can be improved by considering both the application and the diversity plan together.

“It’s something we can work on,” he said. “When that application or plan is submitted, that equity partner must already be listed, what their intentions are and how [an applicant is] Let’s go ahead and wrap it up. “

The legislature last year called for fairness in the sports betting industry when it passed legislation last year, especially after a predominantly white-owned company received a license when the medical cannabis industry launched in Maryland nearly five years ago. I asked.

The law also aims to ensure that Maryland entrepreneurs have a fair chance to compete with large betting companies such as FanDuel and Draft Kings.

Meanwhile, the state has announced proposed regulations to award additional gaming venue competition licenses and mobile sports betting licenses.

A section on economic impact states that the impact will benefit small businesses, especially those certified under the state’s Minority Enterprise Program.

According to the proposal, “it would also make sense for contractors and vendors who provide support to sportsbook licensees and operators to participate in the MBE.” “Once these small businesses are licensed, certified, or registered with the Lottery and Gaming Authority of Maryland, we will have the opportunity to offer products and services to other sports betting facility licensees and operators, as well as mobile sports betting licensees. will be given.”

On Friday, the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Administrative and Legislative Review voted to approve the rule.

“When the MGA passed sports betting, it had a goal of promoting diversity in the industry,” said Senate Speaker Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore) and House Speaker Adrian A. Jones (D-Baltimore County). ) said in a statement on Friday. Regulations requiring submission of meaningful diversity plans will help achieve that goal, and we believe these measures will ensure meaningful minority participation in this new industry. ”

The Commission will hold a regulatory hearing next Friday in Baltimore.