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Fund contributions by Maryland operators come under scrutiny

It has been one year since Maryland allowed online entertainment to operate legally. That pertains to players getting access to operators who host titles like slots and table games. While the segment has done phenomenal work in 12 months, authorities have observed that the contribution toward the Maryland Problem Gambling Fund is not sufficient.

They have recommended diversifying the revenue stream to better support the fund. Its objective is to help struggling gamblers recover from problem gambling. Maryland’s online sports betting category, for one, has generated approximately $4 billion in bets.

A look at the contribution toward the fund has come to light since many people are developing a gambling addiction.

Any contribution made to the Maryland Problem Gambling Fund helps authorities educate people about the problems of gambling and how to overcome the addiction. Simply put, it is a corrective facility for those who have taken a much deeper dive than they should have actually taken.

According to one estimate, a minimum of $40 million should be set aside for public education if 15% is allocated to the state.

Another reason authorities are concerned about the contribution is that online sports betting was at its highest in October 2023; however, there was no significant change in contributions made to the Fund. Suggestions made at a General Assembly Committee point out that one way to diversify the revenue stream could be to get more contributions from online sports betting sites.

Online sports betting went live in Maryland on November 23, 2022. Many operators had concluded their respective soft launches on November 21, 2022. A total of seven sports betting apps went live in the first phase. The most recent one to begin its offering is ESPN BET.

The platform went live in Maryland and 16 other US states on November 14, 2023. It offers online and mobile sports betting services. Reports about ESPN BET planning to launch its platform first surfaced on November 2, 2023. Defined as the Worldwide Leader in Sports, ESPN BET has made its debut through a sports betting application, allowing people to choose how and when they wish to engage with the content.

Other states where ESPN BET has gone live are Indiana, Colorado, Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky, to mention a few out of 17 US states.

The first bet at ESPN BET placed $5 at +175 on Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren for over 19.5 rebounds. ESPN is leveraging its in-house sportsbook service to provide official odds instead of relying on its former partner, DraftKings. Two changes have happened: SportsNation has rebranded to ESPN Bet on X, formerly Twitter, and The Daily Wager has retitled to ESPN BET Live.

It only strengthens the case that Maryland’s online sports betting segment is rising. The Fund needs to diversify its revenue streams, which is expected to happen in the coming days as the industry gains momentum in the US state.

Maxine Klingensmith

Maxine holds a bachelor degree in journalism, and she has worked as a freelance writer with foremost publications. Recently, Maxine has joined our team as a news editor. As she is passionate for casino and gambling industry, she conventionally contributes the latest news and reviews for casinos.

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