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In Maryland, it has been possible to gamble on sports ever since the first retail sportsbook opened in December 2021, but for those Free State bettors who would rather place their wagers online, there has been little forward movement on the mobile sports betting issue there.
Every month, Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) meets in order to discuss relevant issues at hand but for a while now they seem to be delaying their role as the creators of the competitive licenses required for operators to begin taking mobile bets.
This continuing stall has some industry insiders frustrated as this recent Tweet from sports betting writer Bennett Conlin shows:
“Questionable” sounds incredibly optimistic. What a disaster, @GovLarryHogan. There are literally states that just approved sports betting this month that will launch before Maryland.
— Wodes (@PatWodack) May 18, 2022
While over 30 other U.S. states have already legalized, regulated, launched, and begun taxing their own mobile sports betting markets to much financial success, Maryland continues to wait, with the SWARC’s caution being blamed on a disparity study whose results have been delayed.
One Maryland leader was still holding out hope in March that a fall launch to that mobile market is still doable.
Just a few months ago in March, John Martin, the director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, told the press that he thought his state would be able to get their mobile sports betting ducks in a row by the fall of 2022, saying back then:
“I’m still hanging onto football season as a start for mobile, but I would admit that each day that goes by it’s a little bit more of a challenge.”
But Martin was obviously counting on the SWARC to do their job quickly, or at least faster than they have been, a shift to action that will have to begin at once if that fall launch goal is still expected to be met, the NFL season scheduled to begin in September and run into February.
Adding a mobile option to that already successful retail sports betting market in Maryland could mean millions of dollars more in tax revenue for the state annually.
Last month, Maryland’s in-person sports betting market generated a $26.9 million handle, money that resulted in $2.8 million in profit for operators and $415,801 in tax revenue for the state, small potatoes compared to what that number could be once a mobile option is added.
Though Maryland mobile sports betting most likely won’t generate the types of unreal multi-billion dollar monthly handles that state neighbors like New York and New Jersey do but giving resident gamblers that easier option to place bets will no doubt step up everyone’s action.
The speed at which Maryland begins offering a mobile sports betting market depends entirely on how quickly the SWARC can begin to create and issue mobile licenses to qualified applicants in that area, but the next time the SWARC is scheduled to meet isn’t until June 16.
The SWARC will get another chance then to move things forward, so keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this ongoing story as Maryland strives to launch a mobile sports betting market sooner rather than later.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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