Maryland voters gave the green light to sports betting through the state’s ballot initiative in 2020 and a 2021 piece of legislation, but they may have to wait until 2022 to be able to place wagers on sports games.
Reportedly, two state agencies are currently carrying out the details that are expected to set the details regarding operating license issuing procedures for companies that are approved to offer the new form of gambling.
As revealed by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency’s director John Martin, the body believes that it would be able to expedite the process in late fall or early winter. The Agency has proposed governing regulations compiled on more than 200 pages in order to establish the rules gambling companies are supposed to stick to in order to be permitted to offer sports bets. The proposed rules are subject to a public hearing that is set to take place on September 22nd.
For the time being, so-called emergency regulations are being used by the Lottery and Gaming Control Agency of the state to process the operating license applications. The new regulatory body that has the final word in the operating license awarding procedures – the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission – is set to receive applications that successfully pass the background investigations held by the gaming agency.
According to reports, the entire process could take longer than initially expected, so it is likely for both land-based and online sports betting permits to be issued in 2022.
Maryland Lawmakers Still Working on Rules to Regulate Sports Betting
The local residents’ vote during the 2020 general election was only to ensure a broad approval for the legalization of sports betting in the state.
Some Maryland lawmakers have remained optimistic that at least some types of gambling services will be available later this fall, although they have been willing to see sports betting become functional in the state as soon as possible. They, however, remain aware of the fact that they need to make sure the new form of gambling is safe and transparent for local customers.
So far, some sports betting proponents had hoped to see the new form of gambling available to local customers for the National Football League (NFL) and college football seasons. That, however, has not happened, but there is still a chance for sports betting to become available at least before the end of the football season.
Maryland casinos are expected to be the first ones to apply for an operating sports betting license. An online application process is set to start soon, with the casinos’ financial and responsible betting plans set to become subject to extensive background checks.
Sports betting operators in Maryland will have to pay a 15% tax on their proceeds, with the money set to be distributed to public education projects. License fees that are to be paid by companies in return for the right to offer sports betting services will also be used for some business and community projects. According to preliminary expectations, the state government could receive about $15 million on an annual basis from the sports betting industry once the sector is fully up and runnings.