With Maryland online sports betting officially underway, Gov. Larry Hogan is already hinting at millions in tax revenue for the state.
At a press conference announcing the formal launch, Hogan said the state and its schools would benefit from revenue generated from sports betting. The governor also said the state could see as much as $30 million in 2023 and almost $100 million by 2027.
Maryland has seven online sportsbooks
On Wednesday, seven online sportsbooks officially began taking bets. All operators were awarded licenses by the state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) earlier this month.
The first seven online sportsbooks are:
- Barstool Sportsbook
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- PointsBet Sportsbook
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) has approved ten applications. However, the other three operators: Betfred, betParx and the Fanatics Sportsbook need more time but will launch soon.
Delays almost pushed back the launch date
Maryland voters approved sports betting via a referendum in 2020. But despite legislation being signed into law in April 2021 and retail sportsbooks launching in December 2021, online sports betting has taken much longer.
Hogan again voiced his frustration at the nearly two-year delay during his speech.
“It seemed to be just one excuse and one obstruction after another when it came to getting mobile sports betting up and running,” Hogan said.
“They [SWARC] allowed the process to be bogged down and bureaucratic, political and with legal delays that threatened to push back the launch of mobile sports betting all the way past the Super Bowl next year.
It was inexcusable and completely unacceptable to me, which is why earlier this year, I aggressively pushed for clear and definitive action and implemented a legal transparent framework to place mobile bets in order to finally deliver what Marylanders had voted for.”
What’s next for Maryland sports betting?
John Martin, director of MLGCA, said the next step for the agency is to approve:
- The next 11 online license applications
- And six land-based applications seeking approval to launch
Martin said his team hopes to qualify applicants by its next meeting on Dec. 1. Following the agency’s approval, SWARC will meet to potentially approve licenses on Dec. 14.
“These remaining applicants will move through the process on a rolling basis over the next several months,” Martin said. “We anticipate that in late spring, early summer of 2023, prior to the kick-off of the next football season, the Maryland market will include up to 21 mobile entities and between 15 and 20 facility licenses.”