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With some good news for Maryland sports bettors, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) director John A. Martin recently told The Baltimore Sun that legal sports betting in the Old Line State is still very much on track to get done in time for football.
According to Martin, residents of Maryland who hope to bet on the regular NFL season that began last Thursday could soon get their way, telling the Sun:
We’re looking at late fall, early winter. It is our intent to expedite the process as efficiently as we can to get us there. We’re still very much pushing for football season.
Ever since Maryland voters approved sports betting last year, lawmakers and industry leaders have had to work through the waist-deep red tape that must be navigated before legal retail and online sports gambling can officially launch and wagers can be taken.
And the rush is on, especially given the lucrative success of other states where gambling on pro football has already gotten started.
With Week 1 of the NFL regular 2021 already in the books, those areas of the US that have launched their legal sports betting operations are reporting a record number of bets.
According to GeoComply, a company whose technology “detects location fraud and verifies a customer’s true digital identity,” there was a 126% increase in wagers during the Thursday-Sunday window of the NFL’s recent opening weekend.
That means that overall gambling more than doubled, growing from 25.8 million bets in 2020 to 58.2 million bets in 2021, a sign that Americans want to gamble and are willing to spend their money online and in-person doing it.
This does not surprise Lindsay Slader, the Managing Director of Gaming at GeoComply, who recently said this in a release:
The level of demand across new markets, such as Arizona, indicates that consumers have long waited for the option to legally place a sports bet. The data tells a remarkable story about the growth of the industry in a short period of time.
Which only puts a hotter fire in Maryland’s gambling belly to get their own sports betting operation up and running ASAP.
Right now, the suggested rules and regulations is a 227-page proposal that was pushed forward by the MLGCA and it is scheduled for a public hearing on September 22, a necessary final step to polish up the language guiding how Maryland’s sports betting operation will be run.
Meanwhile, Maryland’s newly created Sports Wagering Review Commission oversees licensing after they conduct a thorough background check on every applicant.
Venues such as Maryland’s six casinos and its two thoroughbred horse racing tracks are expected to apply for in-person licenses first, but given the amount of potential revenue at stake, expect the line of applicants behind them to stretch to the Allegheny Mountains and back.
Be sure to keep checking here for all the latest updates on Maryland’s ongoing journey to legal sports betting.
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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