Maryland bettors who were hoping for more clarity on when mobile sports betting might come to the state will have to wait a little longer.
The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission conducted its latest meeting on Thursday morning. The agenda included updates on applications, the designated licenses and the Sports Wagering Assistant Fund, among other items listed.
When asked for an update on the state’s disparity survey, Dave Stamper, the assistant attorney general, said there was none. This study is the last major roadblock standing in the way of legal mobile betting coming to Maryland.
The legislation that legalized sports betting in the Old Line State included a mandate that forced women- and minority-owned businesses to participate in the market. Regulators can establish a timeline for launch upon completion of this survey.
The SWARC tasked the law firm of Taft Stettinius & Hollister with completing a survey that highlights any barriers to entry those groups may face. Stamper said the firm had “begun their work” and that “working to get the necessary information so they can move forward as quickly as possible” at the SWARC’s last meeting.
Last year, the state set the goal for the launch of mobile sports betting by the beginning of the 2022 NFL season. However, the lack of launch update comments made on Thursday doesn’t bode well for the best-case scenario September launch.
Where things stand with mobile sports betting
Retail sports betting has been live since December 2021 when five of the state’s six casinos opened sportsbooks. They are:
- Live! Casino & Hotel
- MGM National Harbor
- Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
- Hollywood Casino Perryville
- Ocean Downs Casino
The sixth casino, Rocky Gap Casino, is under the Golden Entertainment umbrella, which doesn’t boast a strong sports betting presence. It is unclear exactly how Rocky Gap will proceed on this front moving forward.
At the SWARC’s last meeting, Maryland’s ninth retail sportsbook in Bingo World was approved. The Brooklyn Park facility is the fourth establishment to move on to the final step in the application process. An official license will be issued after the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission approves the day-to-day procedures.
The three other facilities awaiting final approval from MLGC are Riverboat On The Potomac, Greenmount Station and Long Shot’s. Riverboat boasts a partnership with PointsBet, and while it’s expected soon, there’s been no announcement on when a sportsbook will go live.
Greenmount and Long Shot’s have not yet formally announced an operator partnership, though the former has one in place. Bingo World, meanwhile, announced recently it is partnering with Rush Street Interactive, which operates the Rivers Casino brand.
The state can award up to 60 licenses under the current legal framework.
On Friday, May 6, the SWARC will host a summit for small businesses interested in getting involved in sports betting. The purpose of the summit is to continue to educate locals as the state wades further into the sports wagering pool. The event will take place at Montgomery Park Business Center in Baltimore.
The next SWARC meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18.