Maryland still waiting for online betting – and to reap the tax benefits

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October 1, 2021; College Park, Maryland, USA; A general view of two Maryland footballs on the field during the game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Iowa Hawkeyes at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

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When Governor Larry Hogan issued a letter in June criticizing the slow implementation of mobile sports betting in Maryland, he pointed out that the state was at a disadvantage compared to its neighbors. He wrote that Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC, had already launched mobile sports betting, needing no pointing out that those jurisdictions were also reaping the tax benefits associated with it.

Because, for states like Maryland that legalize sports betting, taxpayers’ money is the name of the game. And as more and more states approve sports betting – especially mobile sports betting, which makes the practice so much more accessible – those states slow to do so suddenly feel compelled to keep up and keep those taxes from crossing the border. And there are also untaxed and illegal offshore betting sites.

In Maryland, taxpayer money generated from sports betting is by law earmarked for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund, which provides early childhood education opportunities. Estimates indicate that Maryland could receive $15 million a year in sports betting taxes once the industry is fully operational – a scenario that includes mobile sports betting, which has been slow to take off, hence the reason for Hogan’s anger.

90% of sports betting done via mobile

The launch of mobile sports betting is crucial in Maryland because it opens up legal sports betting to a much wider audience: 90% or more of all sports bets are placed through mobile devices in states where the practice is legal. Although its population is much larger than that of Maryland, New York offers a stark example: the state collected $37 million in tax revenue from mobile sports betting in June, compared to $14 million in tax revenue from all games at its four retail casinos.

Mobile sports games are also more user-friendly, as bettors can take their time to compare the odds of various online sportsbooks and enjoy perks such as a Caesars Sportsbook Maryland promo code. Sportsbook promo codes offer benefits such as risk-free bets or deposit matches up to a certain amount.

And people can do it all from their couch, given that the law says adults only have to be physically in the state to bet on a mobile device. Of course, exactly when they will be able to do so is still unknown. Sports bettors can only wait, while the governor seethes watching all those potential mobile sports betting tax dollars go by the wayside.

The waiting game continues

Hogan signed Maryland’s sports betting bill into law in May 2021, and in December he placed the state’s first ceremonial bet — on Baltimore and Washington NFL teams to meet in the Super Bowl — to initiate retail betting in the Old Line State.

“Today marks the culmination of years of effort to get sports betting up and running here in the state of Maryland,” the governor said in a statement released at the launch of retail betting. “In addition to allowing Marylanders to bet on the NFL, March Madness and more, sports betting will also help keep more dollars in the state and provide another vital revenue stream for public education without increasing taxes for families and small businesses.”

Adults 21 and older can currently wager at five retail locations in Maryland: Live! Casino in Hanover, MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Horseshoe Baltimore, Hollywood Casino in Perryville and Ocean Downs in Berlin. Mobile sports betting, however, has been mired in bureaucratic red tape as the commission overseeing the practice navigates a labyrinthine regulatory and licensing process that threatens to push back its launch to 2023.

Responsible gaming

Always gamble responsibly. All licensed and legal operators in the United States have resources available to bettors, including instructional guides on how to spot gambling problems, links to support services and tools for self-help. exclude for a defined period of time. Assistance is available at National Problem Gambling Council, 1-800-PLAYER and American Addiction Centers. Be sure to only bet on gambling sites licensed and regulated by your state’s gaming regulator. This ensures that games are fair, bets are honored, customer funds are secure and there are legal protections for the consumer.

Sports betting and gambling are not legal everywhere. Be sure to follow applicable laws where you live.

Veteran sportswriter David Caraviello has written about sports betting for several years and has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.

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