Gov. Larry Hogan has been a strong advocate of sports betting in Maryland since the state didn’t even have a retail market, and he is now on the hook once again to bring mobile sports betting to the state.
However, there is no set time frame as to when the potential mobile launch will begin in the Old Line State.
What is the Target Date for the Operation to Begin?
Gov. Hogan had sent a letter to the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission ahead of the meeting that took place on Thursday. The SWARC provided a few updates, but there is no timeline as to when the launch will start.
The governor wants the mobile sports betting operation to be approved by the NFL season as the reasoning behind is quite simple. The NFL season is when the most wagering takes place across the United States, which translates to average volume increases and record-breaking handles.
Part of the letter stated that to meet the required target date, the Commission must immediately accelerate and intensify” its efforts. The Baltimore Ravens will open their season on the road against the New York Jets. Bettors that live in New York and New Jersey will have no issue betting on their home team as both states have the biggest markets in the sports betting industry.
Voters in the Old Line State have approved sports betting that included mobile sports betting two years ago, but there is little to no progress. Convenience has been the key for most states across the board, as some states even show that 99 percent of their overall handle was wagered online. Gov.Hogan shares his frustration with the people that reside in the state.
What Measures Need to Take Place so the Commission Can Meet the Target Date?
Neighboring states like Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC all offer mobile sports betting. Maryland has five retail locations across the state, but many may just cross state lines due to the convenience mobile sports betting offers.
The push for mobile sports betting is taking place in Maryland because the potential tax revenue generated could fund education and other programs.
There needs to be a plan, and these are the following steps that might help the state get there:
- Casinos that offer retail sports betting must be given priority for mobile licenses.
- This Thursday, the Commission will meet and must establish a firm and transparent timeline for the launch of online sports betting in Maryland.
- The industry can begin preparing for the release of the regulations and applications after the meeting.
- As long as the Maryland Lottery and Gaming’s licensing qualifications are met, licenses should be issued quickly.
- Generally, the first-come, first-served method should be followed.
Maryland Sports Betting Numbers in May
Maryland may not have a mobile sports betting market as of late, but the retail sportsbook locations have been doing well as the five locations registered $23.1 million in May. The summer months slowdown has already kicked in but the retail sportsbooks combined for a hold percentage of 13.3 percent.
This is the fifth time in six months that sportsbooks have posted a win rate of 10 percent or higher. Due to the $3.1 million in generated revenue, the state was able to collect $452,897 in taxes. There is no doubt that Maryland can bring mobile sports betting; the state will post solid numbers as it’s projected that 80 to 90 percent of the overall handle will be wagered online.