Maryland Introduces Diversity Rules for Mobile Operators

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The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) issued new rules for its mobile betting licensees. As per the authority’s new regulations, all companies that have been approved for a sports betting license must also provide a diversity plan.

Operators Required to Submit a Diversity Plan

The SWARC’s ambition is to force operators to diversify their teams. To that end, all wagering companies that wish to offer mobile gambling in the Old Line State will be required to submit a diversity plan. In addition, the companies will have to respond positively to three conditions, promising to do their best to diversify their teams and keep the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission updated on their progress. Lastly, companies must make their plans publicly available.

According to the SWARC, it will approve any worker from a disadvantaged group, whose inclusion in the Diversity Plan would be beneficial. Operators that fail to achieve the diversity quotas because of a deficient plan will not risk their licenses. Instead, the regulators will work closely with those operators and help them fix their plans.

The new rules reiterate Maryland’s commitment to equity. The state hopes that the new diversity plans will help local brands compete against the juggernauts in the gambling sector.

Maryland Remains Committed to Equity

Darryl Barnes, Maryland State Delegate and chair of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, commended SWARC’s new initiative. He praised the authority for its equity efforts as well as its willingness to push for the inclusion of minority groups. Barnes is happy with the new diversity rules but added that he believes it would be better if the Maryland regulator requires companies to submit a diversity plan prior to receiving a license.

Maryland also proposed other regulations concerning minority groups in commercial sports betting. House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson emphasized that Maryland legalized sports betting with the intention of promoting diversity in the sector. On Friday, the two of them approved new diversity-related regulations, including rules that require sports betting companies to seek out minority investors, use Maryland’s minority business enterprise program and submit the aforementioned diversity plan.

Jones and Ferguson concluded that they are confident the new measures will ensure “meaningful minority participation” in the state’s sports betting industry.

A public hearing about the aforementioned regulations is scheduled to take place in Baltimore next Friday.

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