Maryland officials are hopeful sports betting in the state will be available for state gamblers as early as the World Series, or at the very latest Feb. 13, 2022, the date of Super Bowl LVI.
Senator Craig J. Zucker, the primary sponsor of the state’s now legalized sports betting bill, told Elite Sports New York that in-person betting at Maryland casinos and horse racetracks should be up and running within the next few months.
“By this fall, the goal is hopefully for your brick-and-mortar facilities, your casinos, your racetracks, to be up and running. Hopefully your professional teams will be operational by the Super Bowl as well,” Zucker told ESNY.
The bill approves 60 mobile sports betting licenses and qualifies remaining licenses into two classes; A licenses and B licenses. A licenses will be the state’s larger casinos, horse racetracks and professional sports teams.
Maryland Online Sports Betting By The Super Bowl?
Zucker noted he hopes Maryland’s online sports betting program will be up and running by Super Bowl LVI, but applicants must satisfy certain criteria with the newly formed Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) and Maryland Lottery and Gaming before receiving an online license.
SWARC is a newly formed commission that will adopt regulations prior to the issuance of licenses. The approved bill, H 940, contains language that allows SWARC to consider early access for online sports betting to entities with “meaningful partnerships with minorities, women, and minority and women owned businesses.”
“We’re hoping that sometime around the Super Bowl we’ll be able to get up and running with online mobile apps as well,” he said.
Despite Zucker’s optimism that in-person betting could be available later this year, other state officials aren’t so sure that will be the case.
A 12-24 Month Projection May Make More Sense For Maryland Sports Betting
Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director Gordon Medenica told ESNY the bill leaves a lot up in the air about the timing of license applications and the differing roles SWARC and his department will take in the licensing process.
“I guess in a perfect world you might be able to see the casinos offering on premises only betting in time for the upcoming football season, if not maybe in time for the Super Bowl itself. That is the best outcome. In total, the whole process as the bill requires is probably adding 12 to 24 months,” Medenica said.
In-person betting for casinos and horse race tracks will be a quicker venture as they have existing infrastructure to support sportsbooks, have completed background checks and will have partnered with companies who have already gone through the process of creating in-person and online sportsbooks, Zucker said.
Maryland Live! has a current partnership with FanDuel, MGM National Harbor Casino in Baltimore is associated with its own national BetMGM sportsbook, Caesars Entertainment, which recently acquired William Hill, owns Horseshoe Baltimore Casino and Hollywood Casino in Perryville has an existing relationship with Penn National Gaming, Medenica said.
“All of those entities are large, experienced firms that know how to do gaming applications. This includes five years of personal tax returns for all the principles of the company, etc. They’ve all been through this for other places,” he said.