The launch of online sports betting in the state of Maryland has taken much longer than expected, and it’s partly due to the fact that two different groups are in charge. The Maryland Lottery will control sports betting after it goes live, but the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) also has a role.
The SWARC is expected to have a meeting on November 21, and that is when an official launch date is going to be set. That meeting will be important for a number of different reasons, as that is when at least ten online sports betting licenses are expected to be handed out.
In October, the Maryland Lottery announced that ten potential operators were approved to receive a license, and there is now just one final step. The official rules and regulations have already been approved, and sportsbooks are starting to get things lined up for launch.
Early projections had the launch date slated for the end of November, but it appears as if the state is simply running out of time. Maryland will launch online sportsbooks on a specific date, but it will be a rolling launch after the first wave is able to get up and running.
Sports betting was officially legalized all the way back in November 2020 as the voters in the state passed a referendum. Both mobile and retail sports betting was approved at that time, but in-person sports betting was able to launch much more quickly.
Retail Providing Mixed Results
Retail sports betting has been available in the state of Maryland since 2021, but the state is not seeing great results. There has been an increase in the overall action at the sportsbooks since the NFL season returned, but the state of Maryland is not bringing in a ton of sports betting revenue.
Greenmount Station just launched retail sports betting at the end of October, giving the state eight retail sportsbooks that are accepting wagers. The MGM National Harbor and Live! Casino have seen the most action since launch, but they could soon see the business go away with the launch of online sports betting.
In September, retail sports betting posted $6.6 million in revenue.
Maryland Should be Competitive
Maryland is one of the 20 biggest states in terms of population, and that should allow the state to post some big sports betting numbers. Maryland is also a state with the Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore Orioles, and those teams should help to drive sports betting.
The online sports betting revenue is going to be taxed at a rate of 15%, and that should help the state bring in some strong numbers. Based on the list of potential sports betting operators, bettors in the state are going to have some terrific options to choose from as well.
A Look at Potential Sportsbooks
Since the official licenses haven’t been handed out, the complete list of online sportsbooks has not been confirmed. The Maryland Lottery did announce the operators that passed the initial check, and there are going to be some big names coming to the state.
DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook are expected to lead the charge, and both operators are going to be ready to go live on the first possible day. FanDuel is already offering a pre-registration promo in Maryland to help get bettors signed up.
BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, and PointsBet are four other operators that should receive a license in Maryland. All four of those names have plenty of sports betting experience and are staples in other states throughout the country.