Online Maryland sports betting is one huge step closer to launch, perhaps even by the end of 2022.
On Monday, the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) announced that it had opened the process for those wanting mobile sports betting and Class B facility sports wagering licenses to apply.
As of now there is a 45-day window for prospective sports betting operators to apply.
“This is fantastic news,” Maryland Lottery and Gaming director John Martin said in a news release issued by MLG. “We know sports fans are eager to have mobile wagering, and we also know that it will substantially increase the contributions to education funding, so we’re eager too. We’ve been doing everything we can to have it launch before the end of the year, and now we have a good chance to make that happen.”
Major Step For Sports Betting in Maryland
The last step needed before the application process could begin happened on Friday, when the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review (AELR) approved a draft of regulations that SWARC published in July.
On Aug. 26, SWARC chair Thomas Brandt sent a letter to AELR co-chairs, state Sen. Sarah Elfreth and Delegate Samuel Rosenberg, urging their committee to expedite the process of approving the SWARC draft.
According to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming (MLG) news release, SWARC can award up to 60 licenses for Maryland sportsbook apps and as many as 30 licenses for Class B facilities.
Application Deadline is Oct. 21
The deadline for interested parties to submit their applications is Oct. 21. According to the release, those applying must submit relevant material, including anything needed for background investigation, to the Lottery and Gaming electronic licensing system within 30 days of sending their applications to SWARC.
Once the Oct. 21 application deadline passes, there is another 45-day window for SWARC to review the applications and for MLG to complete its background investigations to ensure that each applicant is eligible for a sports wagering license.
On Friday, SWARC approved a plan to include diversity measures for sports wagering operators in Maryland.
According to the plan, each license applicant must provide details on how they will make good faith efforts to include female and minority representation in the operation of their sports betting. These measures include strategies for diversity and inclusion in the makeup of ownership, investment and employees as well as contractors.
Maryland launched a retail-only sports betting market in December 2021 but, without a mobile component, the handle has been underwhelming, peaking at $32.5 million in January and dipping to $15.5 million in July.
NFL Betting the Ultimate Aim
If the implementation process is complete by the end of 2022, as Martin expressed optimism that it would be, then the state’s online sports wagering would launch in time for Maryland NFL betting sites to take wagers over the last few weeks of the 2022 season.
The NFL is the biggest and most popular sport in America so, naturally, it’s the sports with the most wagering action as well.
The Baltimore Ravens, who finished last in the AFC North in 2021 (tied with the Cleveland Browns at 8-9) are favored to win the division in 2022. Coach John Harbaugh’s team is +145 to win the AFC North at BetMGM Maryland and FanDuel Maryland, and +140 with DraftKings Maryland and BetRivers Maryland.
The next SWARC meeting will be held virtually at 9 a.m. on Sept. 22.
Keep checking back with us at BetMaryland for the best Maryland sports betting promo codes as the state’s mobile wagering launch gets closer.