Is there a chance that Maryland online betting will launch this year?

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By Rebecca Hanchett

Maryland’s online sports betting apps are expected to roll out by mid-September, according to the state’s sports betting regulators, with mobile licensing expected to follow.

This makes a mobile sports betting launch in Maryland increasingly possible in 2022. But companies considering competing for one of the state’s 60 mobile sports betting licenses still have a long way to go, thanks Maryland’s somewhat clumsy sports betting regulatory process.

The process is now largely on hold until state regulators approve mobile sports betting regulations and complete the required analysis of the sports betting industry. Initial approval of the rolling rules is expected to come later this month, followed by state legislative approval and a 30-day public comment period.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan wrote in a June 14 letter to state gambling regulators that the process “is the byproduct of overly complex legislation that has been twisted to appease gambling groups. special interests and organizations.The rest of the heist lies in bureaucratic hurdles and legal hurdles.

It remains to be seen how long state regulators will take to award and issue licenses, once regulations are approved and applicants are submitted.

SWARC hopes to start taking mobile apps by the end of the summer

At the June 29 meeting of the Sports Betting Applications Review Commission (SWARC), commission chairman Tom Brandt said he expects SWARC to begin accepting betting applications. mobile sports betting license by the end of the summer. That would potentially give applicants up to three months to be vetted by regulators and still launch before the end of the year.

SWARC is one of two regulatory agencies responsible for betting on sports betting licensees in Maryland (the other is Maryland Lottery and Gaming, or MLG, in Baltimore). SWARC assigns licenses to companies qualified and reviewed by MLG, who can then issue the licenses.

But how quickly licenses are issued depends on how quickly regulators can keep up with the licensing process. This includes the start of the application process, commented on by Brandt last month.

“I am sharing this information to help us adjust our expectations as we fulfill our responsibilities,” he said. “We are still hopeful that we can start accepting applications at the end of the summer.”

A mobile launch in Maryland is unlikely by September 8

With an application process beginning in late summer, Maryland’s mobile sports betting is unlikely to launch by the time the NFL kicks off on Sept. 8, as a governor has requested. increasingly frustrated, Larry Hogan, in the June 14 letter sent to SWARC.

The NFL is the largest sports betting market in the United States, with approximately $270 million in revenue from sports betting and related deals expected last season alone. Any launch after this date will undoubtedly have an impact on the revenues of the State of Maryland, at least in the short term.

To quote Hogan, “tens of millions of dollars of economic investments and education revenues that should be going to our public schools and our students” are lost because of “endless bureaucratic roadblocks that continue to hold progress”.

“Maryland sports fans simply want to be able to place bets on their mobile devices – that’s what they voted for, and they’re angry and disheartened by SWARC’s inability to make it happen.”

Online Licensing Portal Open to Qualifying Applicants

The governor’s letter addressed what he called a delay in rolling out retail and mobile sports betting in Maryland. To date, only five of the 17 sites designated by law to receive retail sports betting licenses under Maryland’s Sports Betting Act of 2021 have been opened to the public.

An additional 30 retail licenses will be available under a separate set of regulations being developed by SWARC, which will issue these licenses and pending mobile licenses separately.

As with mobile sports betting, the process for applying for additional retail licenses has yet to begin.

That doesn’t mean state regulators have been sitting around doing nothing. According to a June 17 article in The Baltimore Sun.

Businesses can use the portal to ask MLG staff questions and start the application process for a low fee of up to $5,200. These fees can be at least partially reimbursed if a company decides to opt out early in the process.

It’s an effort to financially protect small businesses — including minority-owned and women-new-to-industry startups — that stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars entering the tech industry. mobile sports betting without preparation.

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