Maryland Sports Betting, A Step Closer to Mobile Launch

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Months after the retail launch, Maryland sports betting has taken a key step to launch mobile sports betting in the state. On Thursday, the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) finally revealed the disparity analysis is underway. Disparity analysis is a critical step before the SWARC can go ahead with the legal mobile sports betting in the state.

While commenting on the update, Assistant Attorney General David Stamper did not say when the study would be concluded. The disparity analysis will determine whether the SWARC requires additional effort to include minority- and women-owned business in Old Line State’s sports betting industry.

The SWARC can move forward with the process of accepting applications for online wagering licenses only after the study is completed.

What Did SWARC Chairman Say?

Commenting on the study, SWARC Chairman Thoman Brandt said it was an informative time. He said that though it took only six months for that engagement to get off the ground, “it will be worthwhile.”

Terming the latest development as an “informative time,” Brandt said as they await the results of the study, their focus would be on education and drafting of applications without presuming the outcome of the study.

The SWARC is empowered to lay the outlines for the competitive licenses in Maryland. The state law allows for up to 30 retail and 60 mobile licenses.

Earlier this month, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency Director John Martin expressed hope to see mobile sports betting could launch by the start of the 2022 NFL season.

Maryland Retail Sports Betting Updates

The SWARC awarded another sports betting retail license on Thursday morning, making Bingo World (Rush Street Interactive) the ninth legal operator in Maryland. Of the nine operators with licenses, five have already launched their sports betting operations. Those five amassed $25.5 million in bets during February, the second full month since retail sports betting went live in the Old Line State.

Bingo World, one of the 17 entities named in Maryland sports betting legislation, joins the other three approved retail sportsbooks in seeking final approval with the state’s Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

Another three retail licenses are submitted and being scrutinized by MLGCA, said the agency’s COO Jim Nielsen.

How Have We Reached Here?

Legal retail sports betting went live in Maryland in December at a few casinos, most of which were partnered with leading operators. Live! Casino (FanDuel), MGM National Harbor (BetMGM), Horseshoe Casino (Caesars), Hollywood Casino (Barstool Sportsbook), and Ocean Downs Casino (TwinSpires) were the first to kick off the new industry.

Greenmount Station, Riverboat-on-the-Potomac (PointsBet), and Long Shot’s have already obtained licenses. But all three of them have yet to launch their retail betting operations.

As the state bettors await mobile sports betting, Maryland retail sports betting witnessed a decline in its latest report. According to the February report released by the MLGCA, the state’s five retail operators totaled $25.5 million in bets, representing a 21.5% decline from January’s $32.5 million.

Maryland voters had approved legal sports betting in the state in Nov. 2020.

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