During Caesars Entertainment’s earnings call this week, worries about mobile Maryland sports betting launching in time for the 2022 NFL season grew.
Caesars CEO Tom Reeg discussed expenses connected with launching online sports betting in a new state during Tuesday’s Q&A part of the conference call.
“I’m doubtful Maryland releases mobile in ’22,” Reeg remarked simply when questioned about Maryland. “You should expect us to be competitive there if and when mobile debuts,” Reeg said of Maryland since Caesars Entertainment operates the Horseshoe Baltimore Casino, their physical casino in Baltimore. And are offering online sports betting via Caesars Sportsbook Maryland when mobile sports betting goes live.
The word “if” in Reeg’s statement may make eager Maryland sports bettors squirm, but it’s just slick language, and it doesn’t indicate that Reeg is skeptical that Maryland will ever have sports betting.
Still, Reeg’s comments show that at least one highly interested stakeholder in Maryland’s online sports betting industry believes that having a working internet betting system up and operating before the start of the next NFL season is becoming “nearly impossible.”
An independent business is carrying out the investigation, and when a SWARC commissioner inquired for an update on the study during the group’s April meeting, a lawyer with the State Attorney General’s Office declined to make a public comment.
The research is critical as the SWARC works to meet the state’s sports gambling legislation’s goal of encouraging minority and women-owned businesses to participate in the Maryland sports wagering market.
Igaming commission is trying to move forward
The Gaming Control Commission and the Gambling Control Agency, which do much of the hard lifting in reviewing gambling license applications and regulating gaming enterprises, have endeavored to move the licensing process along as quickly as possible.
The SWARC and the Director
John Martin, the director of the Gambling Control Agency, has previously stated that he intends to launch online sports betting by the start of the NFL season but has cautioned that such a prediction may be ambitious. The fact is that some of the moving components in launching online sports betting are outside Lottery & Gaming’s control.
The SWARC will host an educational meeting on Friday, mostly for small companies interested in applying for retail sportsbook licenses. Potential candidates will hear from panels of industry experts, attorneys, and regulators at that conference.
The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission commissioned Taft Stettinius & Hollister to do a disparity survey on mobile sports betting. The goal is to identify any impediments to entry that women- and minority-owned firms could have if they want to enter the market.
This research is one of the final big barriers in the way of Maryland legalizing mobile betting. Assistant Attorney General Dave Stamper stated there was no update on the survey at the SWARC’s latest meeting on April 21.
The live retail casinos that offer sports betting in the state are positive that the lawmakers and the gambling commission will regulate and give to green light to mobile sports betting in Maryland by the NFL season’s start.
At the beginning of September, many fans in Maryland will see if they can log in via their smartphones and place bets online without visiting a physical location.