There is still no definite start date for the online sports betting launch in Maryland, but many are still hopeful that the ball will get rolling during this year’s NFL season. The NFL season lasts about 5 months, so, from now, that gives the state plenty of time to get things in order so that Marylanders can bet on their favorite NFL teams.
The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission is currently holding a disparity study to make sure that online sports betting wouldn’t negatively affect women, minorities, and businesses owned by these groups. The study began in March and the Commission is still waiting on its results before they move forward.
Once the study is finished, licensing can begin. On the other hand, this means that licensing can’t begin until the study is finished, and there haven’t really been any announcements of when that will be. The only information that has been stated about the issue is that the study will finish up within the next few months.
This makes the odds of online betting in Maryland starting during the NFL season look a bit grim. The SWARC is supposed to meet on Thursday, June 16th, and the commission will hopefully give the people of Maryland some answers about when they will actually see online wagering begin.
Options for Marylanders
Sports betting was originally approved in November 2020 and became legalized a year and a half later. It launched in December 2021 at five retail sportsbooks, and most people figured that online sports betting would take a bit longer than retail to get started, however this long of a wait was pretty unexpected.
Marylanders still have quite a few options to bet on the 2022 NFL season, although online wagering would obviously be the least time-consuming. Currently, there are five casinos throughout the state that offer retail wagering which are operated by Barstool Sportsbook, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars Sportsbook.
SWARC also gave out four more licenses for retail wagering. It’s expected that at least two of these facilities will begin operations over the rest of the summer. One of these facilities is Riverboat-on-the-Potomac, which has secured a partnership with PointsBet. There aren’t official opening dates for these facilities either, so there is a lot up in the air for Maryland sports betting this year.
The state is falling short in taxes
Regardless of the retail locations, it is well known that Marylanders have been looking forward to online sports betting for quite a while, and now that the NFL season is quickly approaching, there is a very big chance that they will miss out on another major sports season.
But Marylanders aren’t the only ones missing out due to this long waiting period. The state of Maryland itself needs the tax money. The expected annual tax revenue from sports betting was said to be $15 million, but according to numbers put out by the state, only $1.83 million was brought in from December 2021 to March 2022. If online sports betting isn’t launched this year, it is unlikely that the state will make that $15 million goal.
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