For weeks, the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) has waited for updates related to a disparity analysis before moving forward with the launch of legal mobile sports betting. Thursday, the SWARC revealed that the disparity analysis is underway.
No firm timeline was given, however, for when the study would be completed. Once the study is finished, the SWARC can move forward with the process of opening applications for mobile betting licenses.
A disparity study Maryland regulators are undertaking before awarding online sports betting licenses is "underway" but there's still no firm timeline or update; statewide mobile wagering is still months away
— Ryan Butler (@ButlerBets) March 16, 2022
Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) Director John Martin told Sports Handle this month he hopes mobile betting will be up and running by the start of the 2022 NFL season.
“I’m still hanging onto football season as a start for mobile, but I would admit that each day that goes by it’s a little bit more of a challenge,” Martin said. “Until we really make some steps of progress, it’s still a little early to tell how that’s going to play out.”
Completing the disparity study is a necessary step in the progression toward a legal mobile sports betting launch in Maryland.
Bingo World awarded retail license
The SWARC awarded Bingo World (Rush Street Interactive) a sports betting retail license Thursday morning, which means the entity can soon launch its retail sports wagering operation. Bingo World needs to go through the final step in the approval process, which involves the lottery running financial and technical checks at the location. Bingo World is the ninth Maryland entity to be awarded a license for retail sports betting in Maryland, and five of those nine locations have launched their betting operations.
Legal retail sports betting launched in the state in December at a handful of casinos, many of which are partnered with major operators. Hollywood Casino (Barstool Sportsbook), Horseshoe Casino (Caesars), Live! Casino (FanDuel), MGM National Harbor (BetMGM), and Ocean Downs Casino (TwinSpires) all have retail sports betting options available for Marylanders.
Riverboat-on-the-Potomac (PointsBet), Long Shot’s, and Greenmount Station have all been awarded licenses by the SWARC, but none of the three locations have launched retail wagering yet. Their respective sports betting launches, as well as the Bingo World launch, are expected in the coming months.