July 13, 2024
Annapolis, US 74 F

Maryland Tied Up in Red Tape

Some great news came for gamers and gamblers in Maryland at the end of 2020 when the bill was passed to legalize sports betting and other online options in the state, and once again in May of this year when the legislation was signed into law – since then, however, progress seems to have slowed somewhat as the launch of new sportsbooks and online play options have been tied up in red tape as progress to get operators off the ground and running as expected has been as fast as many had hoped, and slower yet despite warnings of urgency too.

Last week there had been a scheduled meeting with the Maryland board in charge of issuing licenses to these different operators, with the goal to take up applications on the three biggest casinos within the state – the Horsehoe Casino, the MGM National Harbor, and Maryland Live, but this meeting had been postponed, this came a week after Governor Larry Hogan had urged for more urgency in getting betting going within the state.

This delay has also meant other licenses have yet to be issued, there are up to sixty mobile betting licenses to be handed out too, but the progress continues to be very frustrating and slower than it needs to be – even if the brick-and-mortar locations like those above are approved, it doesn’t yet open the opportunity for mobile sports betting which for many has been the big goal to come from this big shift in legislation. To make this issue worse, all that apply for a sports betting license in the state will have to apply for separately and individually one of these mobile sports betting licenses too, meaning each establishment will have to double up on the applications for the same goal.

The earliest goal for these mobile licenses to be issued seems to be aimed at 2022 which means mobile sports betting will remain unavailable for that period of time, this could be frustrating particularly as mobile betting is picking up extremely quickly in other states and starting to show the initial success – further postponements will only lead to further delays in getting mobile sports betting as a whole moving forward and if the establishments that already have plenty of experience with dealing with the paperwork and legislation are running into these issues, then smaller or less established services may look to run into further difficulties moving forward too.

It’ll certainly be an exciting period of time for all involved once things finally get started moving forward, for now much of Maryland’s online sports betting options are tied up in red tape with delays and short-term uncertainty, not the best way to get things kicked off to a promising start.

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