In a move that will no doubt further frustrate Maryland sports gamblers, the state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) has just unanimously approved an amendment to their application policy that requires mobile licensees to submit a diversity plan.
That means that in addition to all the other financial and background data that mobile sportsbooks must submit to qualify for an operating license in Maryland, applicants must also now include a list of diversity objectives as well as state that they will attempt to meet them.
According to the amendment they just passed, SWARC says it will now also take into consideration an applicant’s struggle to overcome disadvantages that have adversely affected them, saying this:
We will consider any type of diverse group where an applicant can demonstrate that an individual has been disadvantaged and, therefore, the inclusion of the individual as a participant in the Diversity Plan would be beneficial.
The plan breaks down into some specific requests.
While the rest of the US legal sports betting market typically enjoys a mobile option, bettors in Maryland are still waiting for their lawmakers to make that happen in their state, and this diversity plan request will not speed that process up at all, and gambler patience is running out.
Despite that pressure, though, SWARC is trying to get this right so kudos at least for that.
Their goal here is to make a legitimate attempt to include a broader range of operators in the state’s mobile sports betting market, so now applicants for a mobile license must also include:
These are all excellent ways to include a more diverse group of businesspeople to that state’s mobile sports betting market, no doubt an effort to do things differently than Maryland did in the past with regards to the medical marijuana industry that showed little diversity from the start.
The hope is to have that mobile sports betting market in place by the end of the year.
Maryland lawmakers made retail sports betting legal in 2021 and ever since bettors there have been waiting for the mobile option to follow, an easier way to place bets and collect wins that has proven to be a more lucrative cash cow than the in-person alternative.
The other thirty-plus states and DC with legal sports betting markets have already discovered that it takes a lot of time to get that type of market set up since the regulatory process involves much red tape and cooperation so delays in most cases become inevitable.
The Diversity Plan has been a part of this process from the start as lawmakers stressed the importance of getting this part right during the initial debates, and now with this new policy amendment in place, applicants will be forced to think outside the box and include everyone.
SWARC’s goal is reportedly to launch by the end of 2022, so be sure to keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this ongoing story.
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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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