Maryland sports betting could finally be advancing forward after a series of delays in October.
On Wednesday (Nov. 3), the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) will meet. According to the agenda, the SWARC will go into, “Consideration of Awarding Licenses to Qualified Sports Wagering Facility Applicants.”
Sportsbooks have been anticipating licensing approval for several weeks now. Several Maryland casinos including the MGM National Harbor Casino, Ocean Downs Casino, and Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore will soon have or already built sports betting windows.
Unfortunately, there is no certainty that retail sports betting will even be allowed. Fans are certainly clamoring for access to sports betting for the NFL season but the pace has clearly lagged behind the expectations of fans.
Why Is Maryland Sports Betting Being Delayed?
Some government leaders are looking to push sports betting across the finish line quickly. Maryland Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. is one of the people that is looking for sportsbook approval.
“It appears as if some folks in the legislature are trying to delay it for more than a year — going against what they wrote in the legislation,” Gov. Hogan told Maryland Matters.
This is quite the claim from Hogan, who is saying that politicians have continually delayed legalization. Democrat Darryl Barnes, however, has a different view of the delay.
“We need to make sure that the one [minority business enterprise] that was written into the [sports wagering] bill be awarded a license and given an opportunity to compete like everybody else,” Barnes told Maryland Matters. “I’m not against the five that’s going in. …We all want to see those revenues.”
No one would argue that the need for a fair and varied structure that minorities get a part of. It is unclear why that is delayed. Perhaps the other sportsbooks have more bandwidth to prepare for sports betting at a faster pace.
Mobile Betting Also Delayed
The legalization process for retail sports betting in Maryland is a quick stroll around the park compared to the long journey mobile sports betting is set to embark on.
Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency director John Martin told Maryland Sharp it could be 12 months before mobile sports betting launches in the state.