Maryland Lottery and Gaming Moving Forward With The Innovation Group for iGaming Study

The contractor must complete the iGaming study by November

Members of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency agreed to contract with The Innovation Group, an experienced consulting group in the gaming industry, to conduct a necessary iGaming study before the next legislative session.

iGaming efforts stalled out in 2022 which led the state legislature to request an iGaming study for the Old Line State. The study must be completed by November 15, 2023 before the 2024 legislative session begins.

The MLGCA issued a request for proposals on June 2, 2023. Five were submitted to the agency.

The Innovation Group Wins Its Bid

The MLGCA was provided with up to $100,000 in funding for the iGaming study. The Innovation Group submitted a proposal to complete the study for $86,000, the third most expensive proposal out of the five the agency received.

Maryland legislators are requiring an iGaming study to evaluate the estimate online casino market in the state, legalized iGaming’s potential economic impact on Maryland and its brick-and-mortar casinos, its impact on problem gaming, and other impactful factors.

The Innovation Group’s proposal was the “most advantageous to the State based on RFP’s technical factors and financial factors,” according to a memo published from the MLGCA.

“We felt The Innovation Group’s proposal seemed very strong. They have a good team put together, they’ve done this type of work before, and we’re very comfortable them with as an organization. Again, the price difference was not significant,” said Jim Nielsen, chief operating officer of the MLGCA.

The MLGCA will meet with The Innovation Group in early August, Nielsen said, to discuss the report and to receive a timeline for when the work may be completed.

Legalized Maryland iGaming on Radar for Gaming Operators

As Maryland legislators likely move forward with iGaming discussions in 2024, gaming operators are keeping a close eye on the state’s progress.

Richard Schwartz, CEO of Rush Street Interactive, said the gaming company is specifically monitoring Maryland as a potential state to legalize iGaming next year. Schwartz mentioned Maryland’s iGaming study during the operator’s Q2 2023 earnings report this week.

“As part of the 2024 fiscal year budget, the state lottery and gaming commission has been mandated to submit an iCasino study to the general assembly before year’s end. Notably, a prominent legislative member in the state has expressed optimism about potential for passage of an iGaming bill when the legislature reconvenes in January. In his remarks, the legislator emphasized the state’s needs for new revenue streams, and recognizes significant online casino could represent as a valuable third-leg of the stool along with existing online sports betting and traditional land-based casino markets,” Schwartz said.

Robert Linnehan

Robert Linnehan

Covering regulatory developments in online gambling. Editing/writing/creating a newsletter for readers across all formats.