Bets during Baseball Season 

Pressure to Launch Sports Betting in Maryland

The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission is working behind the scenes to get online sports betting launched in the state. That group was set to hold a meeting this week, and that meeting just became even more important.

Governor Larry Hogan has demanded that online sports betting launch prior to the start of the 2022 NFL season, and he has put pressure on this group to speed up the process. Until the demand from Hogan it was starting to look as if it might not be until 2023 before the industry was launched.

Retail sportsbooks in Maryland launched in December 2021, but the state has not been putting up large sports betting numbers. Voters in Maryland approved sports betting all the way back in 2020, which is another reason that Hogan is upset about the length of this process.

There could be up to 60 mobile sports betting licenses awarded in the state of Maryland, but that number currently sits at zero. Sports betting rules and regulations were approved in May 2021, but applications have yet to be approved.

Hogan’s major argument is that bettors in Maryland are still wagering on sports, but they are doing so illegally. These actions are costing the state millions of dollars, and the state can’t afford to miss out on another NFL season.

Hogan Has a Plan

Governor Hogan not only demanded an expedited process by the SWARC, but he also developed a plan to speed things along. There were a handful of steps outlined by Hogan, and all of them lead to the biggest online operators being approved first.

Hogan says the plan should be to award online sports betting licenses to those retail properties that have already launched in the state. The governor also believes that these licenses should be handed out on a rolling basis instead of handing them out in one large group.

According to this plan, a firm timeline also needs to be established, and that will allow residents to track the progress of online sports betting. Hogan also asks that the SWARC release a draft of the sports wagering applications and the rules so that these companies can begin to plan.

Most of the points made by Hogan are steps used in other states, and many states have been able to launch this industry in months, rather than years.

Retail Numbers Are Low

Online sports betting is much more popular than retail betting throughout the United States, and that has been felt in Maryland as well. The state continues to release sports betting numbers each month, but the totals continue to be low.

There are five retail sportsbooks currently live in the state of Maryland, but the total sports betting handle in May was just $23.1 million. FanDuel Sportsbook at Live! Casino led the way with over $10 million in bets, and FanDuel is expected to be one of the leaders of online wagering as well.

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