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After a slow retail sports betting summer in Maryland, the director of the state’s Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) John Martin has told the press he expects some form of mobile sports betting to launch there before the end of the year, saying earlier this week:
I’m optimistic today that we can get someone up and running before the end of the calendar year, if not more. There will be some carryover, sure, that’s what we’ve seen with brick and mortar. Some take longer than others but that’s not because we’re not working on it. I think we’ll get some up and running, then more before the Super Bowl, then more before March Madness.
Great news for Maryland gamblers who have been waiting for what feels like forever for state regulators to move forward with launching a mobile market for residents, a solid addition to the in-person market that was made legal first since not every bettor lives close to a retail location.
Sports betting in Maryland was made legal by state voters in November 2020 and thanks to the hard work done by the members of the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) the retail market launched over a year later in December 2021.
Now that same commission is working on launching the mobile option next.
In Maryland, the way this legal sports betting market is being set up requires the SWARC to first review all the applications for licenses to ensure they are quality operators, a time-consuming process that takes cooperation with the MLGCA, with all applications due on Oct. 21.
Some of those potential operators are assuming they will be fully approved, and they have already begun submitting their financial information for the background checks that the MLGCA conducts on every applicant, a process that takes longer in some cases more than others.
MLGCA Director Martin has encouraged those pre-filings of the financials while the app review process is taking place, saying:
These are not dependent events as maybe some feared. We’re optimistic we can get some through the process before the 45 days (SWARC has to review).
The sooner the better for all involved, since bettors are anxious to gamble on the NFL and the upcoming MLB playoffs and the operators are ready to offer a more convenient mobile option to their customers who are more likely to bet from their couches.
The new legal sports betting market in the U.S. is generating multi-billion dollar annual handles and that money is creating revenue streams that are being taxed by the individual states, many of whom are reinvesting that money in education, infrastructure improvements, and more.
In Maryland, the retail legal sports betting market has already collected $3.7 million in tax revenue, and with the addition of an online option that should increase that number dramatically given that elsewhere the mobile markets have proven to be more lucrative than in-person.
Meanwhile, it is already Week 3 of the NFL season, and the NBA season starts on October 19 plus the MLB is just a few weeks away from playoff baseball, all chances for some exciting wagers that, for now, Maryland residents will have to make in person.
Keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this ongoing story.
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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