Maryland lawmakers approved a sports betting bill this past May. Since then, however, there hasn’t been a lot of forward momentum. While some states have gone from the starting blocks to the finish line in a matter of a few months, Maryland seems to be dragging its feet. There is still no clear target for the launch of in-person sports betting in the state and Governor Larry Hogan is hoping that residents will force lawmakers into action.
Maryland Governor Pushes for Sports Betting
Maryland’s sports betting market officially began on June 1, but there have only been minimal steps taken since then to introduce legal sportsbooks. Almost three months later, there was still confusion over how the market would operate and the most recent projections have indicated only a possible launch by the end of the year. That’s not good enough for some, who feel that Maryland is missing a golden opportunity as it lets almost the entire NFL season slip by.
The only progress seen so far was the approval of three casinos in the state to launch sportsbooks, which only came last week. However, they’re still not operational, pending the issuance of licenses. Currently, there aren’t any indications that other sportsbooks are going to be approved anytime soon. Governor Hogan wants state residents to get involved, posting on his Twitter feed that everyone interested in pushing for the launch of legal sportsbooks should contact the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) in order to put pressure on them to pick up the pace. He even included an email address for the committee to make it easier for residents.
Maryland Has Strong Sports Betting Potential
The NFL season is always a great target for sports bettors, but Maryland is missing a golden opportunity by not moving quicker. The Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore (partnered with Caesars), Live! Casino and Hotel in Hanover (partnered with FanDuel) and MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill (partnered with BetMGM) are ready to go as soon as the word is given, but the NFL is close to reaching the halfway mark, which means a lot of potential revenue has been left on the table.
It’s possible that progress could be made this Thursday when the SWARC is set to meet. The sports betting licenses the three casinos are waiting for could be issued at that time, provided the Maryland Lottery Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) is happy with how the properties are prepared to introduce their books.
Maryland has repeatedly been shown to be a hotbed of gambling activity. Its casinos routinely report strong revenue and, with states all around it, as well as Washington, DC, offering sports betting, competition is fierce. Currently, Maryland is potentially allowing millions of dollars to bleed out of the state, when it could be collecting all of the revenue with just the swipe of a pen.