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SWARC Rolls Out New Maryland Legal Betting Regulations

Revisions to licensing regulations could accelerate Maryland's legal mobile sports betting launch.

Legal mobile sports betting apps have yet to make their debut in Old Line State and NFL fans are becoming increasingly eager for their arrival.

Commission Comes Under Heat

Bettors are free to place in-person wagers at any of Maryland’s five participating casinos. However, brick-and-mortar gambling is not feasible for the weekly patron.

And while gaming regulators are fully aware of the circumstances, officials have been unable to stick to a strict launch schedule. With nearly two years in the state’s back pocket, there’s not very much slack left for regulators.

Gov. Larry Hogan has been especially vocal on this issue in recent months. He pressured the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) in comment earlier this month. Hogan said,

“Marylanders have grown frustrated waiting for mobile sports wagering as they have watched it become available in state after state across the country, including our neighboring jurisdictions of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. I share in their frustration.”

In the past, SWARC has cited the state’s requirement for minority equity and inclusion as reasoning for the delays. But increased scrutiny of the commission has made them buckle on that promise.

Legal Betting Regulations Revised

SWARC’s Executive Director, Thomas Brandt, made the announcement earlier this week and emphasized the need for an accelerated Maryland legal sports betting launch. He said,

“Over the past year we’ve heard extensive legal advice regarding constraints upon us in so managing the licensing process. To avoid further delays, we have asked staff and our professional team to draft regulations which exclude race and gender based license criteria.”

It remains unclear how this news will be received. Many residents and out-of-state onlookers saw Maryland’s commitment to inclusion as a step in the right direction. For some, removing the measure feels like a step backward.

Still, nothing is set in stone. The new rules proposed by SWARC will need approval from Maryland Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review.

Even with state approval, the revised regulations will be subject to a 30-day public comment period wherein residents can voice any issues with the proposition.

What Remains Ahead For Maryland

SWARC hopes that the regulatory changes will prompt a speedy resolve. But domestic mobile options won’t be around in time for NFL Preseason Betting.

Most projections suggest Maryland’s online betting launch will happen sometime in the middle of football season. Then again, the timeline is always subject to change.

Although domestic online sportsbooks have yet to make their arrival, Maryland bettors still have several reliable digital providers at their disposal. Offshore online sportsbooks offer a diverse array of event lines, bonuses and banking options.

These services are often comparable and sometimes superior to domestic options offered in legal sports betting states. For more information on how offshore betting works, be sure to stick around.

We’ve got all the tools you need to become well-versed in the world of online betting.

Source: Saturday Tradition, Island Packet

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