Maryland Governor Blasts State's Sports Betting Launch

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

The state of Maryland has legalized sports betting, but residents continue to wait, and wait, and wait for the official online launch.  This has prompted Governor Larry Hogan to rebuke the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC), the agency responsible for regulating sports gambling.


Hogan submitted a letter on Tuesday June 14 stating that “sports fans in Maryland simply want to be able to place bets on their mobile devices".

Hogan is demanding that SWARC set a firm launch date, award licenses on a first-come, first serve basis and prioritize those licenses that are already partnered with Maryland land-based casino operators.

As many as 60 mobile and online sports betting sites can qualify for licenses.

So What's the Delay?

A disparity study requires SWARC to promote diversity within the new industry.  The study was only begun in March and has no timeline set on when it will conclude.

A disgusted Hogan said that it was “simply inexcusable for that to be the case more than a year after the bill was signed into law.”

Maryland voters made the ultimately decision to allow sports betting through a voter referendum and Hogan signed off on the measure. MGM National Harbor Casino became the first land-based operator to go live with sports betting on their property this past December.  Other casinos quickly followed suit.

Once available, mobile wagering would be open to those 21 and up.  Maryland residents will be able to register their sports betting accounts remotely.

There will be tax implications for both the operator and individual gamblers.  Winnings in excess of $5000 will be subject to 25% withholding for federal and state.  Failure to provide your social security number, that figure jumps to 28%.

Maryland will be an outlier of sorts as it will allow college sports betting on in-state collegiate teams.  Most of the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states prohibit wagering on in-state schools, including Virginia.  Pennsylvania is another exception however.

- GIlbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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