Maryland’s Mobile and Online Sports Betting Launches on Wednesday. Here’s Why You Should Care.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay/Bryan Santos.

Thanksgiving football and the ongoing World Cup just got more interesting for Marylanders: Mobile and online sports betting is set to launch across the state on Wednesday. Here’s what to expect—and why even non-weather people should care:

What’s the big deal with mobile and online betting?

Although Marylanders will be able to place sports bets at casinos starting in 2021, mobile and online betting have proven much more popular than physical betting in other states. In fact, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Estimates that 80 to 90 percent of wagers are made through digital sportsbooks.

For the state, more betting means more tax revenue. The nearly one-year delay between Maryland approving in-person sports betting last December and this week’s launch of mobile and online betting not only irritated bettors, but also Hogan, who argued that the state was losing millions.

According to the American Gaming Association, an industry trade group, commercial sports betting revenue will total $4.33 billion nationwide in 2021, a 180 percent increase from 2020. Maryland was not ranked in the top 10 states, which was led by New Jersey , Pennsylvania, and Illinois.

Where will the new tax revenues go?

Maryland voters legalized sports betting in 2020 with the understanding that it would help fund education. All sports betting licensees in the state must pay 15 percent of their revenue to Maryland, and most of that money goes to programs that are part of the Maryland Department of Education’s Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund.

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According to Baltimore Sun, Maryland has raised $5.4 million for education so far. WUSA9 reports that the state projects mobile and online sports betting to generate $26.4 million in tax revenue in its first year

What are the disadvantages?

Many experts who study and treat problem gambling are concerned that the rapid expansion of sports betting across the country since a 2018 Supreme Court decision overturning a federal ban will lead to more people developing gambling addiction.something that has already happened in Europe, where years of legal sports betting have produced a continuous backlash and contributed to Great Britain considering a reform of its gambling laws.

Mobile sports betting can be particularly dangerous. Research has found that teenagers and young adults– a large and enthusiastic part of most sports fan bases – are at a higher risk of developing gambling disorders than adults, and that Most adults with a gambling problem started at an early age. Meanwhile, sports gamblers who use mobile devices have higher rates of problem gambling than those who do not.

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“When you legalize and increase access to something that may be potentially harmful to some, it can lead to addiction,” said Will Hinman, a peer recovery specialist at the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling. Baltimore Sun. “I would expect we’ll probably see an increase in calls. So we’re preparing for it.”

Another problem? Expect tax revenues that never materialize. According to The New York Times, Kansas collected just $271,000 in taxes this fall against $350 million in bets this fall. The Times also reports that the American Gaming Association’s projections of how much tax revenue each state could expect to collect if it legalized sports betting fell:

The association consultants predicted, for example, that Virginia could expect to collect an extra $ 57 million in annual tax revenue if it legalized mobile sports betting and applied a 15 percent tax rate. That’s what Virginia did, but in the last 12 months of betting, the state collected only 38 million dollars.

Other states with large shortages include Connecticut, Michigan, West Virginia and Wyoming. Overall, in the 14 jurisdictions that allow mobile sports betting and that have predicted tax rates in the area of ​​the gambling association, tax revenues in the last 12 months are almost $150 million below the $560 million that the group predicted, The Times found.

What are the rules in DC and VA, again?

Online sports betting is available in DC and Virginia since May 2020 and January 2021, respectively. However, mobile betting is more popular in Virginia, which grants licenses to several sportsbook operators. On the other hand, DC signed a contract with only one sports betting platform, their interface has led to criticism and even some bettors cross state lines to use place wagers.

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With mobile and online sports betting now legal in Maryland, “DC’s one-show-in-town approach will soon be surrounded by a stable of competitors offering better promotions and more highly regarded apps,” the executive wrote.e The Washington Post.

Where can Marylanders place bets?

Regulators approved 10 sportsbook operators last week.

Seven of these sportsbooks went live today as part of an “operational test”. If all goes well, here’s where Maryland bettors can place their bets on Wednesday:

  • Barstool Sportsbook
  • BetMGM
  • BetRivers
  • Caesars
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • PointsBet

The other three approved sportsbooks – BetFred, PARX Interactive, and FedExField/Fanatics – are not yet ready, according to Fox Baltimore.

Marylanders will be able to bet on all major league sports, college football and basketball, certain international competitions, and more.

Jessica Ruf

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