It has been a very exciting couple of years for punters across the US as big sweeping change has came for online gambling and online sportsbooks as new legislation is being signed in at record pace across the country – it has been no different for Maryland too as more of this information in Maryland is available for the growing options, but frustratingly for some there may be big delays that could frustrate the process. In May of this year, new legislation was signed into law for Maryland to address online sportsbooks but following some red tape over the past couple of years, the delays look to occur once more.
A lapse in a scheduled meeting for a number of different institutions happened recently with Maryland Live, MGM National Harbor, and the Horseshoe Casino were all supposed to meet with the Maryland board in charge of issuing online licenses but had been pushed back. It seems par for the course too as some statements would suggest that this may not be a priority until next year leading to big delays for the launch of online options – the concerns for this come after Gov. Larry Hogan had even voiced concerns around the lack of urgency too and how neighboring states were progressing much faster, and even taking business away from Maryland due to the slow movement of online options.
This delay has had the biggest impact on the mobile market – up to sixty licenses are set to be handed out to allow for the launch of different sportsbooks on mobile, but these delays will impact these options likely until 2022 at the earliest. More frustrating news comes for operators in this regard too as different applications need to be made for individual licenses, and some institutions may have to double or triple efforts for approval with no guarantee which will lead to a huge amount of work that ultimately may not pay off if the application is unsuccessful.
For the bigger institutions with experience dealing with these operating boards and all of the work that will go into getting applications sent off and approved, this will likely be business as usual and nothing to worry about, but for the smaller names looking to launch and find the best possible start, that won’t be the case, and these longer delays could either lead to reduced interest or the inability to launch in a timely enough manner for it to be feasible. A lot of eyes will be firmly fixed on future meetings and what may look to take place, but for now it seems as if Maryland residents will need to wait just a bit longer before online sportsbook and sports betting becomes available.