On December 13, 2022 Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) Fines BetMGM $146,000 to accept online sports betting in Maryland without holding a valid betting license. According to this notice sent by the MLGCABetMGM started accepting bets before it was authorized to do so.
Maryland is one of the states that recently legalized sports betting following the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking PASPA decision. Many other countries have also done so; Maine just legalized sports betting earlier this year.
The MLGCA is responsible for regulating all lottery and gambling activities in Maryland and is responsible for issuing the proper licenses and accreditation to all operators in the state.
What is BetMGM?
Although most of our readers are probably somewhat familiar with BetMGM, we will at least briefly discuss the brand. BetMGM is a major gambling and sports entertainment brand. The brand is a partnership between Entain Holdings and MGM Resorts International.
MGM Resorts International is well known for operating some of the largest casinos, such as the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas and around the world. BetMGM is the company’s sports betting division, which was founded in July 2018. The brand is heavily focused on offering online sports betting, although it is also responsible for managing all of MGM’s live sports betting operations.
BetMGM now offers sports betting in at least 20 US states and Washington DC. Despite this fine and the difficulties that BetMGM had, the company is fully operational in Maryland and has been accepting bets since November 23rd of this year.
What did BetMGM do wrong?
The MLGCA published a notice stating that BetMGM began accepting sports bets online on November 16, 2022. BetMGM was accepting these bets through its mobile app. Sports betting was not legalized until a soft launch took place on November 21. Sports betting was supposed to become fully legal and debut on November 23rd.
A BetMGM representative said the company accidentally started accepting bets early after sending certain customers a link that allowed them to log into BetMGM’s live sportsbook. The rep claimed the whole situation was accidental.
The biggest fine in history
The $146,000 fine is now the largest the MLGCA has ever imposed overall. MLGCA managing director John Mooney said the largest fine previously was just $5,000. The significant increase was clearly intended to set a precedent that this type of behavior would not be tolerated.
The MLGCA commissioner, Harold Hodges, has made it clear he wants to impose a heavier fine or punishment. Hodges had this to say on the matter:
I am frankly against it. I think if nothing else they should have their license revoked until we look into it.
What can we do system-wide to prevent this from happening again?
Although the fine is significantly larger than any other fine issued by the MLGCA, it appears that Commissioner Hodges’ sentiments are correct. $146,000 is a very small amount considering the size of this business. BetMGM has already booked more than $15 million in sports betting in its first month of operation in Maryland.
Many regulated operators offer sports betting in Maryland
After the recent legalization and regulation, sports betting is incredibly popular in the state of Maryland. There are a total of 12 approved operators, with only seven currently operating online. The seven regulated internet sportsbooks in Maryland are listed below along with the total amount of bets each accepted in November 2022.
- FanDuel Sportsbook: $89.9 million
- DraftKings Sportsbook: $69.6 million
- BetMGM: $15.07 million
- Barstool Sportsbook: $5.7 million
- Caesars Sportsbook: $3.5 million
- PointsBet: $1.7 million
- Bet Rivers (Rush Street Interactive): $631,175
Plenty of online gambling in the USA
For players who live in the US, there are many reliable offshore sports betting sites on the internet. Our expert gamblers have tested and tested numerous sports betting sites with our own real money. If you want to learn more, please feel free to head over and check out this extensive article on the best American sports betting online. Even if you live in a state like Maryland that offers regulated betting in the state, there are reputable offshore options that can offer additional bonuses and benefits.
For any US folks who might be interested in our main focus here at ProfessionalRakeback.com, poker, we suggest you check out this comprehensive guide to playing online poker in the United States. Players in Maryland and the rest of the United States have a variety of offshore poker sites to choose from.