Mims: Spectrum Gaming, Taft host panel in Maryland about small business participation in sports wagering
When you think of sports betting, your first thought is a section of a casino or racetrack that has an area with comfortable seating and large television screens for your viewing pleasure. The State of Maryland is about to add to that perception. Maryland is offering a unique opportunity for the small business owner to enter the sports betting market. Maryland has a class C license for small businesses that include restaurants and bars. While the cost is a considerable amount, the small business owner can have investors that can contribute. If you own a small business that is in a good geographic location, has ample space and adequate parking, the license is something that you may want to pursue.
Maryland delegate Darryl Barnes (D-Prince George's) introduced the concept of the Class C license. Barnes wanted this provision to add a level of inclusion & diversity that will reflect the patrons that reside in Maryland. The regulatory process of applying for a license is the same as the casinos and racetrack for the business, the owners, and its employees. Maryland presently has retail wagering and is looking to add mobile betting as well.
A distinguished panel was assembled by Spectrum Gaming Group and the Taft Group on Friday, May 6 at the Montgomery Park Business Center Auditorium, for a panel on small business participation in sports wagering. The purpose: To inform attendees of the cost of running a sports betting operation. The panel included Johnny Grooms, Director of MGM East Retail Sport Book Operations, Tory Keys, Business Development Project leader for ELYS, and Paul Hannon Senior VP for PointsBet USA. It was moderated by Shawn Fluharty, of the West Virginia House of Delegates. Grooms gave the audience the highs and lows of how a sports betting operation can fluctuate from week to week.
A second panel was headed by Lloyd Levenson, CEO of Cooper Levenson. Levenson informed the audience to be prepare for an intensive set of regulatory questions and documents that involve taxes, credit, criminal background checks along with inquiries about family and friends.
There were several people in attendance who were not daunted by the requirements. Some of them were already looking to do partnerships with gaming operators. One attendee already has a group of investors to support his endeavor to expand his chain of small businesses
I see these Class C license as a way of allowing the entrepreneurial businessperson the opportunity to expand his business. Other jurisdictions are considering this approach. The present business model that involves sports betting is not built for a small business. Even the major operators have challenges because of tremendous acquisition cost and marketing expenses. The small operator can look realistically at adding $50,000 to $200,000 a year to the bottom line if managed with innovation and knowledge of what is appealing to their customer base.