- Maryland is eying a New Year’s Day launch of their retail sportsbooks, though authorities estimate that the state’s mobile sportsbooks are at least a year behind.
- Florida’s mobile sports betting industry’s fate is entirely in a District Court Judge’s hands, with the already-delayed ruling set to decide if Florida can offer online sports betting.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - As states across the country embark upon the process to regulate sports betting, several states are at important junctions in the process.
Maryland Online Sportsbooks A Year Behind
Despite signing legislation legalizing sports betting in May, Maryland residents are going to have to wait another year for online sports betting services to become available, according to the Director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, John Martin.
The retail portion of the industry could launch by New Year’s Day, but Martin could not guarantee that, either.
The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission approved five casinos for sportsbook licenses on Thursday. Martin says that the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency will need another 30 to 45 days to finalize the approval process.
This lines up with Martin’s January 2022 goal date.
The delay of the online component is in part caused by a desire by the SWARC to run another disparity study on the industry. Martin said that study has yet to start. While the study will help the SWARC determine the standards of how to award licenses to the 30 retail sportsbooks and up to 60 mobile operators, it will greatly delay the regulatory process.
Arkansas Racing Commission May Change Rules To Allow For Mobile Sports Betting
On Thursday, the Arkansas Racing Commission authorized the publishing of proposed rule changes that would open the door to mobile sports betting.
The commission will seek public comment on the potential regulation of the Arkansas mobile sports betting industry, which would be run through Arkansas’ casinos.
Sports betting in Arkansas at land-based sportsbooks is legal, though the state has yet to approve a mobile component.
Finance department officials have recently started to analyze the potential new tax revenue that a regulated mobile sports betting industry could provide. Since land-based sports wagering was legalized in Arkansas in 2019, the state’s three casinos have taken in a $95.7 million combined handle. This generated approximately $1.74 million in new state revenue.
The proposed rule changes would allow each casino licensee to provide no more than two individually branded online sports platforms and accompanying mobile applications with the approval of the Racing Commission.
Florida’s Online Sports Betting Fate In District Judge’s Hands
The fate of Florida’s online sports betting industry rests entirely in U.S. District Court Judge Dabney L. Friedrich’s hands.
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The judge originally stated that she will likely make her summary judgment on or around Monday, though that self-imposed deadline has already come and gone. The delay may have been caused by a need for supplemental briefings from the federal government.
The state of Florida, its native tribes, and its pari-mutuel facilities are eagerly anticipating a decision, which will determine if Florida’s online sports betting industry will be permitted to continue its operation.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida has already launched their Hard Rock Sportsbook app - Florida’s first regulated online sportsbook - and will continue to offer their services until a decision barring them from doing so is issued.
Florida’s gaming compact, which is effective for 30 years, grants the Seminole tribe exclusive rights to online sports betting through a “hub-and-spoke” system, which allows sports wagers to be placed throughout the state on servers that are located on Seminole land.
It is unknown how much longer Judge Friedrich’s decision will be delayed, so all eyes will be on the District Judge until she makes the landmark decision.
New York Rapidly Approaching Mobile Sports Betting Launch
New York is one step closer to a mobile sports betting industry after the New York State Gaming Commission approved nine mobile operators for licensing last Monday.
The approved operators include DraftKings, FanDuel, BallyBet, BetMGM, Rush Street Interactive, Caesars Sportsbook, Wynn Interactive, Resorts World, and Points Bet. The goal launch date has long been this season’s Super Bowl, which the industry is seemingly on track for.
New York legalized and regulated the mobile sports betting industry in April, with the state calling for proposal submissions over the summer. Officials estimate that a New York online sports betting industry could bring in up to $500 million in tax revenue yearly.
Operators will have to hand over 51% of their revenue to the state, one of the highest effective tax rates on sports betting in the United States. Despite this, New York is still viewed as a lucrative destination for sports betting operators, with one of the nation’s largest populations, high average incomes, and several high-profile sports teams located inside the state’s borders.
As long as the infrastructure is successfully put in place in a timely fashion, the online sports betting industry could be on pace to launch by this season’s Super Bowl.
Jerad is a new addition to the USAOnlineSportbooks.com writing team, writing about all things related to sports gambling. As an ex-college baseball player, he pairs a first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of high-level sports teams with years of experience successfully betting on many different sports in order to bring valuable insights to bettors. He also studied political science at UCF, equipping him with the knowledge to cover the political, legal, and legislative aspects of sports gambling.