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Online Sports Betting in Maryland — All You Need to Know

| February 10, 2022, 08:00 AM

Sports betting online went live in Maryland on December 9th, 2021 when Governor Larry Hogan placed that first legal wager on the Baltimore Ravens to meet the Washington Football Team in the Super Bowl. It was an incredible long shot and it’s no surprise that he won’t be cashing in his wager come to the end of the playoffs.

The soft launch of retail sports betting was an unmitigated success and the full launch soon got underway with five sportsbooks accepting bets. According to the Maryland Lottery Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC), local gamblers wagered over $16.5 million in December.

The full list of current sports betting facilities available in Maryland is:

  • MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill — opened on December 9th
  • Live! Casino in Hanover — opened on December 10th
  • Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore — opened on December 10th
  • Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin — opened on December 17th
  • Hollywood Casino in Perryville — opened on December 23rd

This was an impressive figure given that sports betting was only available for less than three weeks and it was only available at retail locations. Which brings up a good point—what about mobile sports betting?

Mobile sports betting legislation in Maryland

When Gov. Hogan signed HB 940 into law on May 18th, 2021, the newly enacted legislation allowed for both retail and mobile sports betting options in the state.

The bill specified that up to 60 mobile sports betting apps could operate in the state. These would be under various skins (brands) tied to a sports betting license holder. According to OnlineBettingSites.com, there are about 40 sports betting apps and websites currently operating in the United States. So, as you can imagine, making provisions for 60 in Maryland alone, suggests that lawmakers were genuinely thinking about the long game when the bill was drafted.

Mobile goes on the backburner

Both operators and lawmakers knew that online sports betting would take a little longer to launch than retail sportsbooks. There’s a completely different framework for the mobile industry that takes more time to establish. All agreed that the fastest way to get sports betting into play was to launch the retail sector first.

However, no one expected retail sportsbooks to launch without at least an idea of when the mobile industry would get its chance.

Then in January the industry thought it might get some news when the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) met. During the meeting SWARC approved two informational action items and discussed an update on a new disparity study for Maryland sports betting.

The disparity study was requested by SWARC in September 2021. This was to help decide whether or not the state would need to make special efforts to help businesses owned by minorities and women enter the sports betting industry.

Liquified Creative Annapolis

It’s now believed that the delay in launching mobile sports betting is tied to the disparity study as SWARC cannot set licensing rules for online operators without first seeing the results of the study.

Back when sports betting legislation was first signed into law, MLGCC Director John Martin said that the mobile industry wouldn’t launch until late 2022 at the earliest. However, with SWARC waiting on the results of that study, the entire mobile sports betting industry has been put into limbo.

Which gambling companies will launch sports betting apps in Maryland?

With 60 skins available and the SWARC seemingly intent on making the market as competitive as possible, it’s likely that any operator that wishes to could enter the market.

It’s not yet clear exactly how operators will approach their entrance into the market. What we do know for sure is that four gambling companies that have already got a foothold in the retail market will almost certainly be the first to launch online sportsbooks.

These are:

  • BetMGM
  • Caesars
  • FanDuel
  • TwinSpires Sports

Thanks to their existing partnerships with casinos in the state, these four operators will be perfectly poised to make an immediate launch once mobile sports betting gets the go-ahead. Hollywood Casino in Perryville runs a self-branded retail sportsbook but has yet to announce any partnership deal with a mobile sports betting company.



Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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