Regulated Maryland Sports Betting Misses Out On NFL Week 1

  • Maryland was unable to launch sports betting by the beginning of the NFL season as was previously projected.
  • Estimates vary as to when the industry will launch, with some pegging mid-fall to early 2022.
  • The launch date will likely influence the perception of the market as revenue will be affected.

BALTIMORE, Md. - Many states that regulated sports betting at the state level timed their launches to coincide with the beginning of the NFL season on Sept. 9.

However, this hasn't been the case for Maryland, whose launch is still stuck in limbo, with optimistic projections aiming for a launch before the Super Bowl in 2022, or perhaps midway through the season.

Maryland’s voters approved sports betting on the 2020 ballot, with a near 2:1 margin of voters approving of the measure.

Yet, the details of the proposal were not hashed out at the time. As is common in cases like this. Once the ballot measure was approved, it was up to the Maryland General Assembly to figure out how the new industry would actually be implemented.

This process has taken some time. One roadblock was determining which government agencies would regulate the fledgling gambling industry while another was figuring out who would receive the licenses for sports betting and who would issue them.

Maryland set up a new government agency to oversee the licensing process, the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission, which shares general authority with the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

When Will MD Get Sports Betting?

Maryland State Sen. Craig Zucker, a proponent of gambling, was quick to point out to the Baltimore Sun that the delay was not the fault of lawmakers.

“We’ve done our part,” said Zucker. “Now it’s just up to adopting the regulations and getting them up and running.”

Zucker is correct that the laws to allow for sports betting have been passed and that the major problems are currently in the implementation of regulatory bodies.

The Senator also believes that there will be sports betting soon and that the delays are part of an important process that shouldn’t be rushed.

“I feel like the sooner the better,” said Zucker. “But we’ve got to make sure we do it right and do it in a transparent and inclusive way.”

But missing out on a few weeks of football is a serious price to pay, although it seems to be one that all involved are comfortable paying if the long-term process is rewarding.

Still, the sooner Maryland’s sports betting is up and running, the better its revenue will look - if they wait too long, they’ll only be able to catch the tail end of the NFL season and March Madness before the summer doldrums hit in 2022.