Maryland Online Sports Betting

Maryland sports betting was hoping to launch in 2021 after voters passed a sports betting referendum in November 2020. State gaming regulators continue to work through the entire process to go live.

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission recently announced the use of temporary licenses to gaming companies that have already had an in-state background check or checks in other states.

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Maryland sports betting has been in the works for a couple of years, but proposed legislation was continually hung up. Lawmakers were able to simply ask a yes or no question to voters in November of 2020, and sports betting had overwhelming support.

Both retail and Maryland online sports betting will be available. There are a handful of Maryland casinos, and these properties will get the first available licenses. In time, as many as 47 retail licenses can be issued. Right now, 17 land-based operators are going through the licensing process. The law has provisions for up to 60 mobile sports betting licenses in the state.

The issue at hand is delays in the licensing process. The two governing bodies overseeing the process are the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) and the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCA).

Assuming that each of these government entities keep things on track, Maryland’s five casinos could go live with sports betting on Jan. 1, 2022. That is the good news for the in-state sports betting industry. Unfortunately, more than a few officials believe New Years Day is overly optimistic. Later in January into February may be more of a realistic timeframe.

There is even more bad news on the horizon. Continued issues in the process for licensing online sportsbook operators could delay this launch for as long as another year according to some state officials. The SWARC has expressed interest in performing continual studies on the licensing process. Any changes to the standards for issuing licenses would have to be approved by the Maryland legislature.

Maryland has a strong sports landscape, especially when it comes to professional sports. Not only are there plenty of teams in Baltimore, but Washington DC is also home to teams that have a large following in the state. That is what makes the current situation even more frustrating.

Maryland Sportsbooks

Maryland online sports betting is expected to be the most popular form of betting once the industry launches along with retail betting. Passed legislation that was first introduced in 2020 determined how many sports betting licenses would be available.

The signed law set up the current configurations between retail and mobile licenses. Adding professional sports stadiums is part of the effort to entice the NFL’s Washington Football Team to relocate to Maryland. Team owner Dan Snyder is big on offering legal sports betting at his team’s home stadium.

Other popular sports betting operators such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM are all expected to receive a sports betting license. Remote registration should allow the industry to take off quicker once the state is ready to start licensing mobile operators.

When MD sports betting does launch, it is expected that there will be close to 10 online sports betting options from the start, with some of the most popular operators going live.

MD Sports Betting Rules

Lawmakers in the state have worked through the rules to govern the MD sports betting industry. These rules will include what betting markets will be available at both retail and online sportsbooks.

The top US professional sports will be available in Maryland along with the most popular international competitions. The US sports betting industry has seen plenty of action on international events, especially soccer.

Professional leagues in the United States are all now in support of legalized sports betting, and that will help drive the industry upon launch. The Baltimore Ravens and Washington Football Team are expected to be two of the most popular teams to bet on.

Betting on college sporting events has become a great debate throughout the US. However, it will be legal in Maryland. This includes legal wagers on in-state schools such as the University of Maryland.

Esports is another growing industry in the US, and several states now allow betting on these events. Lawmakers did add esports to the list of legal betting with certain provisions in place.

MD Sports Betting Regulations

Lawmakers in the state attempted to legalize MD sports betting as early as 2018, but a bill did not advance through the Senate. Maryland was attempting to legalize sports betting before the US Supreme Court lifted the federal ban.

In 2019, lawmakers attempted to pass a sports betting bill again as they were hoping to run the industry through the state lottery. After it was confirmed that a referendum had to be approved by voters, lawmakers gave up and waited until 2020.

Senator Craig Zucker introduced bill S 4 in early 2020, and that bill unanimously passed through the Senate. It appeared that MD was on its way to legalizing sports betting before that bill became stalled in the House.

Lawmakers in Maryland were able to get a referendum on the November 2020 ballot, and it passed by a wide margin. That puts things back in the hands of lawmakers to create a bill and rules and regulations for the new industry.

The Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission will be in charge of overseeing and regulating the sports betting industry. This group will be tasked with reviewing license applications and approving sports betting operators. 

Summary

Maryland sports betting has been legal since November 2020, when voters in the state approved of a sports betting referendum. The official launch date has yet to be set. However, certain retail sportsbooks could go live in time for this season’s NFL playoffs.

In 2020, sports betting bills were introduced, but none of them were able to get passed and signed into law. Now that sports betting is legal, lawmakers and regulators have worked through the process for much of this year.

There will be online sports betting in Maryland, along with retail betting options. The number of available licenses have been set at 47 for retail sportsbooks and 60 for online mobile operators.

Maryland could become sizeable sports betting market in the US after getting things established, but that may take some time. Sports bettors in Maryland are ready for the industry to launch and state regulators are doing their best to make this a reality.

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