5/14 Forever: Online Betting in Maryland Not Likely Before 2022 Football SeasonsJun 6, 2022, 6:55PM
UPDATE: Michael Rubin, billionaire and part-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils sold his shares in those franchises to free his sports merchandise brand Fanatics to launch a sports betting company called BetFanatics that will be headquartered in Maryland.
Currently, none of the 60 licenses allowed in the Maryland law for mobile sports betting have been utilized. There are seven retail betting spots in the state and BetFanatics would presumably be the eighth.
Rollout of online betting in Maryland has been slow, but the arrival of a billionaire mogul like Rubin into the market is bound to accelerate the pace of progress.
Dimers.com contributor Michael Krumholtz takes a look at the factors holding up online sports betting legalization in Maryland, where Horseshoe and MGM just started taking bets on sports inside their Maryland locations before the New Year.
In May of 2021, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed sports betting legislation into law, opening the door for residents to wager on games. But there has been no action since then as online sports betting sites have yet to go live and brick-and-mortar locations are few and far between.
Regulatory red tape explains the delay in getting online betting up and running in Maryland as state officials and sportsbooks continue to push forward.
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There had been slight optimism that those in Maryland will be able to start placing their bets before the 2022 football season starts.
However, CBS Baltimore recently reported that will not be the case, as gaming officials are currently working through required mandates to ensure that minority business people and locals are able to enter the industry.
Despite bureaucratic hold-ups, officials and industry figures seem to think that Maryland will have online betting by 2023.
Maryland sportsbooks took in almost $27 million in wagers this April with gross revenue of nearly $3 million for those operations and almost $500,000 in tax revenue for the state.
Those are surprisingly good numbers for a state with only five brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and no online system yet in place. It shows a clear appetite for sports betting from the general public.
The mayor of Cumberland, Ray Morriss, voiced the hope a local business would be willing to apply for a Maryland sports betting license somewhere in the seat of Allegany County.https://t.co/anaDPgFtet— Maryland Sports Betting 🦀 BetMaryland.com (@bet_maryland) June 1, 2022
Currently, one of the most popular venues for sports betting in Maryland is the MGM National Harbor, which sits right on the Potomac River next to Washington DC and Virginia. The FanDuel Sportsbook at Hanover’s Live! Casino has also been a consistent top performer, bringing in more than $13 million in sports bets in April.
Those locations are convenient for those who can get there, but not so helpful for those that live in other parts of Maryland, and who are eager to bet on games from the comfort of their home.
It’s also important from the standpoint of the state’s revenue department to get mobile gambling up and running, as other states have seen much bigger revenues from online betting than in-person retail.
To mark the culmination of more than a year of effort to get sports betting up and running here in Maryland, this week I was proud to cast bets at MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino & Hotel, and Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore. pic.twitter.com/BZyCTwhFty— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) December 10, 2021
For example, New Jersey sportsbooks are routinely taking in over $1 billion in bets and only a fraction of those are from on-site betting. In October of last year, the Garden State reported that $1.2 billion of its total $1.3 billion sports betting handle came through online wagers.
That is a staggering amount of revenue for the industry and the state to be leaving off the table while the red tape sorts itself out. Missing out on another football season in the fall would be a lost opportunity for all involved.
BetMGM plans online sports betting launches in Kansas & Ohio. It is live in:— Ryan Butler (@ButlerBets) May 12, 2022
*Online pending; retail open
Fortunately, the state’s highest officials do seem aware of this. Before retail betting was finally opened up in December, Gov. Hogan said inaction from lawmakers could irrevocably harm the sports betting industry in the state.
For now, Marylanders who are eager to bet on games will have to place their bets at retail locations.
But there is reason to be optimistic that Marylanders will be able to bet from the comfort of their own homes by 2023.
Follow Dimers.com for continuing updates on sports gambling legalization in Maryland and all states.
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