Maryland lawmakers will have a lot on their plate when they first get together in 2021, but sports betting will be at the top of the list. Voters approved sports betting through a ballot referendum in November, and now it is up to the legislators to craft a bill and get that signed into law.
The vote in November was overwhelmingly in support of legalizing sports betting as bettors in the state are looking for a legal betting option. Other residents were simply drawn to the potential revenue that sports betting could provide.
The state legislature is set to convene on Jan. 13, and there will be pressure on lawmakers to get something done quickly. Other states around the country will be looking to do the same thing, and getting the industry launched first could prove to be a huge advantage.
When Maryland does launch sports betting, it is not expected to be one of the biggest markets in the US. That title now belongs to New Jersey, and states like Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Illinois are in the next wave.
Industry experts believe that Maryland will be similar to Indiana in terms of sports betting handle and revenue, and that could mean great things for the state. Indiana’s average sports betting handle was around $250 million a month, and that would set a good target for Maryland.
Despite the size of the state, Maryland is home to several popular professional sports franchises, including those in the Nation’s capital. Both retail and online sports betting will be offered, which will help drive up the numbers.
Plans Already in Place
Even though an official sports betting bill was not passed in 2020, the important parts of that bill were in place. There was bi-partisan support for a sports betting bill before the COVID-19 caused the bill to die out without a vote.
Don’t expect many changes to the previous bill, as lawmakers will be looking to get this measure passed as quickly as possible. One of the biggest questions that need to be answered is who will be able to apply for a sports betting license.
Even though Maryland is not expected to be a huge sports betting market, operators will be lining up for a chance to launch in a new state.
2021 NFL Season a Target
There is no official target date for launching sports betting in Maryland, but the start of the 2021 NFL season would be a good goal. Betting on the NFL is by far the most popular in the United States, and that would allow the state to get off to a great start.
A lot will depend on how quickly the lawmakers are able to get a new bill passed, but it shouldn’t take long. Operators will have plans in place and ready for launch as soon as they are given the green light.
Once sports betting finally launches in Maryland, the next step will be discussing online casino gambling.