Maryland Sports Betting Launch Delayed, But Still Scheduled for Late Fall
Sports betting in Maryland might be coming a little later than it was initially supposed to, but officials are still confident that they will be able to officially launch the industry in late fall. According to the Action Network, the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) was scheduled to approve licenses for Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Live!
Casino and Hotel in Hanover, and MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, at a meeting on October 14. However, the meeting was cancelled and has not been rescheduled yet.
Despite the delays, the Maryland sports betting industry launch is still slated for late fall. The Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) director, John Martin, said that he has high hopes for the future of the legal betting industry in Maryland. There may still be a lot on the checklist, but he thinks that it’s doable.
“I’m confident we’ll get many sportsbooks up and running before the end of the fall,” he said, “I’m very confident, because the applicants we sent to SWARC are ones that are already familiar with the process. They know they need to go through the internal control systems process, they need to go through the demonstrations and the signs offs. They’re very experienced with the whole process.”
Once the three casinos receive approval from SWARC, the MLGCA will verify their internal control systems before they award them their legal sports betting licenses. Martin said it will probably take around 30 to 60 days for them to work with each casino to officially verify their internal control systems and be able to award them their licenses.
There are also two additional applicants that require SWARC Approval: Ocean Downs Casino and Hollywood Casino Perryville. According to Martin, the MLGCA will most likely approve the applications for these casinos to send to SWARC at its next meeting, which is scheduled for October 21. There is still a lot to do before the industry can officially launch, and Martin knows that sports fans in Maryland are impatient and eager for it.
Martin said, “We know we’re anxious to start on our end. Our intention is to get 17 named entities up and running as soon as we can. That’s our mission here at the lottery, to get them vetted, approved, handed to SWARC and issue licenses so the people of Maryland can get what they want.”
The MLGCC and SWARC still have a substantial amount of work to do before the state can fully launch their legal sports betting industry. MLGCC is currently still working towards approving another 12 retail establishments named in the legislation made back in September.
Even though the launch of the Maryland sports betting industry has hit some major snags and setbacks, officials are confident that they will be able to launch later this year. Is this too hopeful, or is it actually realistic? Whether or not it actually happens this year, Maryland bettors are one step closer to being able to legally place sports bets in their home state.