- The Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Commission charged BetMGM $146,00 for accepting mobile wagers five days early.
- In order to be able to operate in Maryland, BetMGM had to pay the commission a total of $500,000 to apply for a mobile betting license.
OXON HILL, Md. – The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission fined BetMGM a total of $146,000 for accepting wagers before the agreed legal launch date for the state.
Retail betting has been in action since December 2021, but mobile betting in Maryland launched on November 23, 2022. BetMGM allowed 146 mobile bets to be placed in Maryland on November 16.
The Chief Compliance Officer Rhea Loney of BetMGM told the Maryland Commission that this mistake has never occurred before and was a configuration error. Instead of teasing the sportsbook launch in Maryland, the BetMGM app took players straight to the sportsbook in the beta phase.
Largest Penalty by Lottery in Maryland, but was it Enough?
Fining BetMGM $1,000 per bet that was accepted, the Maryland Lottery dished out the largest fine in the history of the commission. However, the fine was not even half of the licensing fee that BetMGM had to pay to apply for a license when legal sports betting launched for mobile.
The Maryland Commission had seven mobile sportsbook operators launch on November 23 and each operator had to pay a $500,000 fee for the license. On top of the fee, every operator is going to have to pay a 15% tax on all of the revenue that is generated from mobile sports betting in Maryland.
Retail sports betting during November 2022 recorded $30,620,529 in revenue. If that revenue was evenly split between seven mobile operators, each operator would end up paying $656,154 in monthly taxes. With BetMGM’s total taxes likely to be in the same range if not more, the $146,000 fee could be seen as soft punishment.
Harold Hodges, a commission member in Maryland, was reportedly not happy with the punishment, calling it a “slap on the wrist” because it does not hammer home that this mistake can never happen again in other markets for BetMGM or other sportsbook operators.
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Ben has been an avid sports fan his whole life and mostly follows football and basketball, both professional and collegiate. He has been covering topics that vary from Super Bowl prop bets to articles about the generated revenue from regulated sports betting. He is currently finishing his Editing, Writing, and Media Degree at Florida State University, with a minor in Business. Diving into the world of sports betting, he is ecstatic to work in an area that has combined his two passions of sports and writing.