Maryland Sports Betting Launch Finally Coming?

Sports betting is legal in the state of Maryland, but the state has not turned into a major market like was originally predicted. Bettors in the state have been able to place bets at retail sportsbooks, but mobile betting continues to be the top choice of bettors throughout the United States.

There has been little progress made over the past few months, and residents of the state have been frustrated with how slow things have gone. Governor Larry Hogan has even made a plea to the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) to work to speed up the process.

It now looks as if online sportsbooks could be available to launch by the end of October or the beginning of November after some positive movement. The SWARC could soon start handing out licenses once the application period closes on October 21.

The sports betting law allows for up to 60 mobile licenses to become available, and the SWARC can hand them out on a rolling basis as long as there aren’t more than that. Even though Maryland is expected to become a large sports betting market, it shouldn’t have 60 different applicants for a mobile sports betting license.

Two Groups Working Hard

The SWARC has been catching much of the heat from Governor Hogan and other industry leaders in Maryland, but it’s not the only group in charge of sports betting. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency is also going to be in charge of regulating sportsbooks once they go live.

Last week the MLGCA released a statement saying that online sports betting should be available before the Super Bowl, but it appears as if things have sped up again. Both of these groups has been working on the laws behind the scenes, and they helped put together emergency rules to govern the industry.

The public has been able to comment on the emergency rules in an attempt to offer up any potential changes. That period is coming to an end next week, and then the two groups can work together to put together the final list of rules.

Plenty of Big Names Coming

Even though Maryland is not expected to get 60 online applicants, some of the biggest names in the industry are expected to launch. There are already some top operators with a link to a retail casino in Maryland, and that will allow for a smooth transition into online sports betting.

Betting at professional sports stadiums is available in Maryland, and that could lead to some big-time partnerships. Fanatics is going to offer sports betting at FedEx Field, and the Baltimore Orioles landed SuperBook as a partner.

Other sportsbook operators with a path into Maryland include: Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, BetRivers Sportsbook, Caesars, FanDuel, and PointsBet.

Retail Numbers Struggling

Bettors in the state of Maryland are limited to retail options at the moment, but those sportsbooks haven’t exactly been seeing a ton of wagers over the past few months. The summer is always a slow time for sportsbooks throughout the country, and that was especially true in Maryland.

The total sports betting handle at retail sportsbooks for the month of August was $18.7 million, bringing the total from December up to $209 million. Online sports betting should post a total of over $200 million at least every single month after it launches.

Retail sportsbooks have posted a win percentage of nearly 12% since launch, and that is way better than the national average.