WASHINGTON — It has been more than two years since voters passed sports betting in Maryland and nearly a year since in-person wagers began at casinos. But, mobile sports betting has gone nowhere until now.
Wednesday, regulators will consider applications for mobile betting from ten companies. The approved companies then have to pass a final testing phase for their apps.
Late Tuesday, a spokesman for Maryland Lottery and Gaming told WUSA9 the approved apps should be live and taking bets "before Thanksgiving" next week, which is a big day for NFL games.
And Maryland's governor is betting on that, too.
"To reach this point, we have had to overcome countless legal, political, and bureaucratic delays that threatened to push back the launch past the Super Bowl next year," Republican Governor Larry Hogan said in a statement. "It was completely unacceptable to me and we spent months pressing for decisive action."
Part of the delay is that Maryland legislators did not want the mobile sports betting business to be dominated by just a few big names most often seen in commercials.
The state says there are some smaller and locally owned companies on the list hoping for approval Wednesday which includes:
- Arundel Amusements (Bingo World)
- BetMGM Maryland Sports LLC
- Crown MD Online Gaming LLC (DraftKings)
- CZR Maryland Mobile Opportunity LLC (Horseshoe Casino Baltimore)
- Greenmount OTB LLC
- Long Shot’s LLC
- Maryland Stadium Sub LLC (Washington Commanders)
- PENN Maryland OSB LLC (Hollywood Casino Perryville)
- PPE Maryland Mobile LLC (Live! Casino and Hotel)
- Riverboat on the Potomac
There is big money at stake in the mobile betting business.
The state is expecting its 15% cut of taxable winnings from sports betting companies to increase to roughly $30 million annually once mobile betting is up and running. Although some industry estimates are closer to $75 million for the state of Maryland.
Maryland is hoping it can bring in business it's currently losing to neighboring states starting sometime next week.
If you or a loved one has a problem with gambling, the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network can be reached at 1-800-522-4700. The network is a single national access point to local resources for those seeking help for a gambling problem. Help is available 24/7 and is 100% confidential.