Maryland at a Glance
Gaming License: Yes
Non-Gaming License: Yes
Vendor License Exemptions Available: Yes
Temporary License: Yes
Ownership Disclosure Threshold: 5%
Institutional Investor Waiver: Yes
Fees: $100 - $25,000
State Gaming Lab: Public/Private
Term of License: 5 Years
Deadline to Reapply: Prior to Expiration
Political Contribution Restrictions: No

Maryland Gaming Supplier Regulatory Overview


In 2008, voters approved a constitutional referendum that authorized the operation of up to 15,000 video lottery terminals at five locations throughout the state. 1

In 2012, the legislature passed legislation authorizing table games and a sixth specified casino location, as well as renaming the agency as the Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (“Commission”). 2

These locations are regulated by the Maryland Lottery Commission (“Commission”) with the tax revenue collected used largely for public education funding. Locations for each of the six licenses are limited to Anne Arundel, Cecil, Prince George's, Worcester, and Allegany counties, as well as the City of Baltimore.3 While initially all video lottery terminals and associated equipment had to be owned, leased, or under the control of the Commission, the Commission determined that the costs of the casino gaming program for negotiating and overseeing the purchase and lease of the VLTs exceeded the benefits. Accordingly, through tax incentives to the facilities, by 2018 all casino facilities owned their own VLTs and the State of Maryland no longer had ownership of the VLTs.

The first location to operate slot machines in the state under the 2008 referendum was the Hollywood Casino in Perryville, opened in 2010. In January 2011, the Casino at Ocean Downs opened with 750 slot machines in operation. Rocky Gap Casino opened in 2013, Horseshoe Casino opened in 2014, and MGM National Harbor opened in 2016. The largest of the three casinos in operation is the Maryland Live! Casino, which opened in Hanover on June 7, 2012 and operates just over 4,000 slot machines and electronic table games.

As a general matter, those supplying gaming-related goods or services must be licensed as a manufacturer. Those providing non-gaming goods or services must complete the vendor certification or registration requirements.

Manufacturer Licensing Requirements

All manufacturers who conduct business with an operator licensee must first be licensed by the Commission. In addition, each “person that owns or controls the manufacturer or management and supervisory personnel and other principal employees of the manufacturer” must be qualified by the Commission.4 A manufacturer is defined as a person or entity that “is engaged in the business of designing, building, constructing, assembling, manufacturing, or distributing a central monitor and control system, video lottery terminals, associated equipment or software, or the cabinet in which a video lottery terminal is housed,” and/or “that produces a product that is intended for sale, lease, or other assignment to the Commission or licensee.”5


Manufacturer licenses are issued for a period of five years.6 Renewal applications, materials, and fees must be submitted to the Commission prior to the expiration of the licensee’s current license.


A $10,000 application fee is due at the time the initial license application is submitted. In addition, a licensing fee of between $5,000 and $25,000, depending on the specific goods or services provided, must be submitted. The applicant is also responsible for all background investigative costs incurred by the Commission.7

Required Documents and Information

Interested applicants must complete the “Manufacturer License Application.” The following information is needed to complete the form:

1. Basic identification information;
2. Corporate organization and formation information;
3. Description of the applicant’s business;
4. List of the identities of all holding, intermediary, subsidiary, or affiliate companies, past 10 years;
5. List of the identities of all directors, partners, officers, and trustees;
6. List of the identities of past directors, partners, officers, and trustees, past 10 years;
7. Compensation information for directors, partners, officers, and trustees;
8. Description of the applicant’s stock, if applicable;
9. List of the identities of all shareholders holding 5% or more in the applicant;
10. Partnership ownership information, past 10 years;
11. Identity of all holders of long-term or other debt;
12. Description of security options;
13. List of the beneficial owners of options;
14. Information on each financial institution with which the applicant holds an account;
15. Information on all contracts valued at over $100,000;
16. Information regarding the applicant’s stock ownership;
17. Information related to all insider transactions, past five years;
18. Criminal history;
19. Criminal or regulatory investigation history;
20. Existing or past litigation;
21. Bankruptcy history;
22. List of all licenses issued to the applicant by a regulatory or government agency; and
23. List of all contributions made, past 10 years.8

In addition, the following documents must be provided with the license application:

1. Audited financial statements, past five years;
2. Annual reports, past five years;
3. Last quarterly statement issued;
4. Any interim reports issued since last quarterly statement;
5. Last definitive proxy statement;
6. All registration statements filed with SEC, past five years;
7. Independent auditors reports, past five years;
8. Certified copies of Articles of Incorporation, Charter, By-Laws, and any other corporate governance documents;
9. Current ownership chart;
10. Current organizational chart;
11. Tax returns, past five years;
12. Letters of reference from any gaming agency which has jurisdiction over the applicant;
13. Chart of existing vendors, past 24 months;
14. Details of planned, committed, and un-committed future capital expenditures; and
15. Schedule of insurance policies.9

Principal Employee Licensing Requirements

In addition to the corporate licensing requirements listed above, the applicant must have each of its principal employees complete the Principal Employee Application. Principal employees of manufacturers include employees that exercise control over the manufacturer, perform service on video lottery terminals, or who have control over those performing service on video lottery terminals.

Please note that these individuals can request a waiver from filing the Principal Employee Form, but will be required to submit a Principal Employee Waiver Form. Those seeking a waiver must prove to the Commission that they are “not significantly involved in the affairs of the VLT Applicant,” among other items. After receiving the waiver form, the Commission will determine if the applicant qualifies for the waiver. If not, the applicant will be required to complete the Principal Employee Form.

In addition, principal employees may seek a temporary license and allow the principal employee to perform work with a licensee while his or her principal license application is being reviewed by the Commission. In order to qualify, the principal employee applicant must submit all required application materials, pay all required fees, verify his or her employment status, obtain an appropriate bond, and pass a general background check.10


A Principal Employee License is issued for a period of five years. Renewal applications must be submitted prior to the expiration of the current license.

Waivers are issued for a period of three years.


An applicant must submit a $2,500 application fee at the time the application is submitted, along with a $2,000 background investigation deposit and $37.25 fingerprinting fee. In addition, all applicants must submit a $750 license fee. The renewal fee is $750, submitted with each renewal application, plus a $2,000 background licensing fee and the $37.25 fingerprint fee.11

Those seeking a waiver are required to submit the same fees listed above.

Required Documents and Information – Principal Employee Application

In order to complete the Principal Employee Application, the following information is needed:

1. Basic identification information;
2. Residence history, past 15 years;
3. Family relationships and identity of family members;
4. Education history;
5. Military history;
6. Offices and positions held;
7. Business entity information for each entity in which the applicant is a principal;
8. Employment and licensing data, past 20 years;
9. Civil action history;
10. Criminal history;
11. Regulatory/governmental investigation history;
12. Bankruptcy history;
13. Financial information and data;
14. Alcohol and substance abuse information;
15. Net worth statement and financial schedules; and
16. Personal references, three persons.

In addition, the following documents must be submitted with the Principal Employee Application:

1. Photograph;
2. Fingerprint cards; and
3. Tax returns, past five years.

Required Documents and Information – Principal Employee Waiver Form

To complete the waiver form, the following information is needed:

1. Basic identification information;
2. Business entity associations;
3. Financial interests in gaming companies;
4. Gaming licenses held;
5. Criminal history; and
6. Net worth statement.

In addition, the following documents must be submitted with the waiver form:

1. Fingerprint cards.

Non-Gaming Vendor Certification and Registration Process

Those persons or businesses that provide non-gaming-related goods or services to a VLT operator must be certified by the Commission as a non-gaming vendor. Vendors are defined as those persons or businesses that provide goods or services to VLT operators but do not provide gaming-related goods or services that would require a manufacturer license. These goods or services include, but are not limited to, food and beverage items, janitorial services, payroll services, vending machines, maintenance, employee recruiting, and other services.12 Non-Gaming Vendor Forms are only accepted via the electronic vendor application system which access is granted by the individual casinos.

The Commission has established three classes of vendors based on the total 12-month volume of business conducted with a VLT operator:

1. Vendor conducting less than $10,000 in business with operators – no filing required.
2. Vendor conducting between $10,000-$299,999 in business with a single operator or $10,000 to $599,999 to multiple operators – must become registered with the Commission.
3. Vendor conducting $300,000 or more in business with a single operator or $600,000 or more to multiple operators – must become certified by the Commission.13


A vendor certification or registration is valid for a period of five years.


Those completing the Vendor Certification Form must submit a $1,000 application fee at the time of application. Those completing the Vendor Registration Form must submit a $100 application fee at the time of application.

Required Documents and Information – Vendor Certification Form

In order to complete either the Vendor Certification Form or the Vendor Registration Form, the following information must be provided:

1. Basic identification information;
2. Details regarding annual volume with VLT operators;
3. Identities of officers, partners, and directors;
4. Identity of employees with a direct relationship with the VLT operator;
5. Identity of those owning 5% or more in the applicant; and
6. Description of the applicant’s business.14

Licensing Process

For manufacture licenses and vendor certifications, interested parties should complete and submit the required forms, along with attachments and fees, to the Commission. If the applicant is seeking a waiver, then the Commission will review the information submitted and make a determination on whether the applicant is eligible for a waiver. If the applicant does not qualify for a waiver, then the Commission will inform the applicant and require the applicant to complete the appropriate licensing forms.

The Commission will then conduct a review of the application and begin its background investigation. The Commission may require personal interviews with the applicant and its principal employees during this process. The applicant is responsible for paying for all investigative costs which are drawn from the background check deposit submitted with the application.

For those vendors that require registration, the vendor should complete the appropriate forms and submit same to the VLT operator with which the applicant is conducting business. The VLT operator is responsible for submitting vendor registration information to the Commission.

Gaming Technology Standards

The Commission maintains a detailed list of regulations that define the technical standards for VLTs and related equipment. These regulations are contained at Md. Code Regs. §36.03.12.


Manufacturer licensing exemptions are available for those individuals or entities that hold a valid gaming license in another jurisdiction and the Commission determines that the licensing criteria in that jurisdiction are “comprehensive, thorough, and provide similar adequate safeguards” to the state’s requirements.15 The Commission, at its discretion, may waive parts of or all of the licensing requirements for manufacturers that hold a valid license that meets the criteria above and if the exemption is not contrary to the public’s interest. This power includes the ability to waive all or parts of the associated principal employee licensing requirements.

Vendor exemptions are available for those entities that provide public utilities, insurance services, or employee benefit plans, among other services outlined in Md. Code Regs. §
1'Frequently Asked Questions,'
22007 Special Session, ch. 5, ratified Nov. 4, 2008. Codified at Md. Const. Art. XIX.
3'Video Lottery Location Commission,
4Md. Code, State Government, §9-1A-15.
5Md. Code, State Government, § 9-1A-01(r).
6Md. Code, State Government, §9-1A-07(f)(1).
7Manufacturer License Application, Maryland State Lottery Commission, p. 3.
8Manufacturer License Application, Maryland Lottery Commission.
9Manufacturer License Application, Maryland Lottery Commission.
10See Md. Code Regs. §
11Principal Employee License Application, Maryland Lottery Commission, p. 2.
12See Md. Code Regs. §
13Non-Gaming Vendor Certification Application, Maryland Lottery Commission, p. 4.
14Non-Gaming Vendor Certification Application, Maryland Lottery Commission.
15Md. Code, State Government, §9-1A-16.

Gaming industry advisor Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. authored this article. Visit the Gaming Advisors section of this website to find out more about gaming licensing and compliance advisors.