The commission charged with regulating Maryland’s move into sports wagering decided this week that the best way to diversify the new industry is to create an application process that does not take into account — at least initially — whether would-be sportsbook operators include Black and/or female investors.
The Sports Wagering Application and Review Commission decided instead to require applicants for bricks-and-mortar and mobile wagering licenses to have at least five percent of their ownership be persons whose net worth is less than $1.8 million.
The head of Maryland’s Legislative Black Caucus welcomed the effort, saying he has confidence it will lead to Black and disadvantaged entrepreneurs eventually gaining a foothold in the potentially lucrative industry.
Del. Darryl Barnes (D-Prince George’s), chair of that caucus, called the move an important “pivot.”