The next step for MD sports betting took place Friday when the emergency rules were published in the Maryland Register.
Good luck to whoever has been waiting to read them, though. The proposed regulations span 227 pages and commissioners likened reviewing the regs to reading War and Peace. At least the version published in the Maryland Register has a few clickable section headers to help navigate.
Publishing the rules in the register starts a 30-day public comment period. The Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Commission will hold a meeting for public comments on Sept. 22.
It is still unclear when the first online Maryland sportsbooks will launch at this point. The state is moving a bit slower than Arizona considering both legalized sports betting in April.
Arizona is getting ready to launch Sept. 9 for the start of the NFL season. Meanwhile, MD bettors are unsure if they’ll even get to place regular-season NFL bets.
Casino operators ready for MD sports betting
Leaders at multiple Maryland casinos expressed their excitement for sports betting to get started.
Anthony Faranca of Live! said the company is excited for sports betting to launch at its Sports & Social bar with partner FanDuel Sportsbook. Horseshoe Baltimore, majority owned by Caesars, will open a Caesars Sportsbook in the old footprint of a Guy Fieri restaurant.
Some work has been finished on the future sportsbook at Rocky Gap, but the property remains in conversations with potential partners.
MGM National Harbor also received approval for its BetMGM-powered sports bar with eight tabletop VLTs at the meeting.
Bettors have other legal options
The good news for Maryland bettors is they still have access to plenty of legal options until MD sportsbooks can launch.
Maryland is surrounded by legal US sports betting jurisdictions:
Once Maryland launches, in-state bettors will have plenty of options. That could lead to some bettors in those nearby states returning the favor and crossing state lines to bet. There will be as many as 100 licenses available, including up to 40 retail licenses and up to 60 mobile licenses.
Both channels will see sports betting revenue taxed at 15%.