The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission went through another uneventful month. At May’s meeting, SWARC did not provide any kind of update on when legal mobile sports betting would launch in the state. In fact, at this month’s meeting, the commission did not even broach the topic of having mobile wagering live and ready to go for the 2022 NFL season. Per John Martin, the director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, the goal was to have mobile wagering ready for the upcoming NFL season, but without any new updates, it is proving to be more challenging as each day passes.
In this report, SBS will go over some of the updates from that May SWARC meeting and what it means for the future of wagering in the state.
Even though SWARC did not really address the topic of mobile sports wagering at the May meeting, there are still sports betting licenses in play in Maryland. The Maryland legislation designated 17 sports betting licensees within the state. Several of those parties have applied for and been awarded sports betting licenses. Also, according to the same report, in addition to the 17 designated locations, Maryland’s sports betting regulations allow for an additional 30 locations in the state to receive retail betting licenses.
The SWARC and its legal counsel are working to create the applications for those competitive licenses, according to Kimberly Copp, the co-chair of Taft’s Gaming Industry Group. So while there is some progress being made when it comes to the competitive license creation process, it is still unclear when applications would open, and mobile licenses could be awarded. Though Maryland voters approved a ballot measure legalizing sports betting in 2020, mobile sports wagering has yet to launch, while a few retail locations went live with sports betting options in December of last year.
During the May get-together for the SWARC committee, the chairman of the group, Thomas Brandt, noticed there was less discussion about future proposals than he would have liked. The chairman urged his commission members to engage Copp after she went through multiple minutes of discussions to thoroughly highlight the recent educational summit. The chairman’s main focus here was to better understand the summit and also the general process of educating small businesses and entrepreneurs about the state’s sports betting industry. However, when Brandt addressed his committee members about trying to better understand and question updates regarding the summit, he was met with mostly silence.
Following what was reported to be an “awkward six-second pause reminiscent of high school classes with students who forgot to do the assigned reading” the frustrated chairman broke the silence.
“Oh, for goodness sake,” Brandt said.
According to the report, eventually some members of SWARC shared their thoughts. This included Frank Turner and Laura Gamble, who spoke about their thoughts, but there was overall minimal discussion related to the educational summit. In fact, the meeting only took about 20 minutes and didn’t provide any clarity in regards to launching sports betting in Maryland or what that timetable looks like. Finally, the theme for the past several months for SWARC has “been brief, featuring minimal discussion and minimal action.” The group’s next meeting is set for June 16th.
With major gaming updates still in flux in the Old Line State, SBS nonetheless has you covered with all the information you need to know about Maryland. For instance, our Maryland sports wagering guide can be your go-to resource for legal betting in the state. As an added “bonus,” SBS also has a wonderful overview page for the finest welcome bonuses available so you can get the most out of your wagers. Finally, a great page to always have on speed-dial is our guide on VIP wagering. Here, you can find out if the world of exclusive VIP wagering is for you and if it is indeed right for your gaming lifestyle.