Mobile Sports Betting is Unlikely in Maryland This Year

The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Committee met again on Wednesday with barely any progress made. The commission, which meets monthly, gave no update on when the Maryland mobile sports betting market will launch.

Time is Running Out in Maryland 

SWARC is investing heavily in a study to determine where they should concentrate their efforts. The Commission’s job is to establish rules and regulations for awarding sports betting licenses to those bidding to enter. They are also tasked with ensuring minority- and women-owned businesses get an opportunity to participate in the mobile launch.

John Martin, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency director, also told a news source that he hoped that mobile sports betting would launch before the start of the upcoming NFL season in the Old Line State.

It may be difficult to see online sports betting in Maryland before the start of the NFL season. The Commission will need to speed the process by finishing numerous tasks for the operation to launch before then.

What is Currently Taking Place in Maryland 

The state’s legislation has 17 designated approved sports betting licenses. Some of these designated licenses have applied for licenses; however, Rocky Gap Casino doesn’t plan to apply for a sports gambling license.

Maryland’s sports betting laws allow retail betting licenses to be issued to 30 additional locations. There are also 60 mobile licenses available, but it doesn’t seem like all 60 licenses will be needed looking at the current situation.

SWARC Chairman Thomas Brandt added, “I think that suggests a significant hurdle for us in attracting quality applicants for sports wagering licenses in Maryland, given the constraints that were articulated at the seminar. … That was very worthwhile; that became a matter of record.”

The disparity study is still the main hold-up for mobile sports betting moving forward. Especially after attorney and committee consultant Kimberly Copp stated she would most likely have a license application draft for the next meeting, scheduled to take place on June 16th.

Maryland voters approved sports betting in November 2020, and lawmakers passed legislation in spring 2021. Gov. Larry Hogan signed sports betting into law on May 18, 2021.

How is Maryland’s Retail Sports Betting Market Doing 

Five retail sportsbook locations opened when the market launched in December 2021. In April, these gaming facilities accepted $26.9 million in wagers and had a combined hold rate percentage of 10.5 percent. That translated to $2.8 million in revenue.

Since its launch in December 2021, the retail sportsbook operators have brought in $132.6 million in bets. FanDuel Sportsbook has a retail location at Live! Casino. It has taken $13.3 million in wagers in April. FanDuel is undoubtedly the most popular sportsbook in the United States with all the partnerships they have accomplished in just 2022 alone. 

Maryland will most likely not see its market’s full potential until mobile sports betting is legalized across the state. Until then, bettors will continue to use retail sportsbooks.

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