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Online Sports Wagering In Maryland Won't Begin Before Football Season

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Maryland Lottery and Gaming officials say they hope mobile sports wagering "will be available sometime during the 2022 football season."

In-person sports betting is available at select locations. Horseshoe and MGM began taking bets at their sportsbooks in December. 

Gaming officials say legal mandates, like an analysis of the industry, will be completed within the next few months. The law requires local and minority businesses to have an opportunity to get into the market.

Sports gambling.

That means football season likely will begin without online sports wagering in Maryland as brick-and-mortar sports book applications continue to take preference.

Some gamblers outside Horseshoe Casino say it's taking too long.

"Why would you have to come to a casino just to place a bet?" Joshua Robinson said. "It just doesn't make sense."

Other sports fans agree.

"That's a little slow. I say let's get it rollin'," Mike Spear of North Carolina said Wednesday before an Orioles game.

In an April 21 Sports Wagering Application Review Commission meeting, Gaming officials James Nielsen said he expected a learning curve for applicants and they are "over-communicating" to them.

"Some of the entities who have less experience in the gaming segments are learning it's more complicated than anticipated," Nielsen said.

An educational summit is planned for Friday, May 6 at Montgomery Park with gambling industry experts to address the costs of running a sportsbook. As of April 21, 66 people registered for the summit.

Early returns of in-person wagering are falling well short of the estimated $15 million per year in sports wagering revenues. In about four months, $1.83 million of taxes were collected from Dec. 9, 2021, through March 2022.

"(Mobile sports wagering) will take over," Spear said. "You won't have to come here (to a casino) to do it."

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