The sports betting law was legalized in 2020 and went live at retail locations in Maryland in December 2021, with the first bet being placed at the MGM National Harbor. Now almost two years since it became legal Marylanders are still waiting for mobile sports betting to begin.
It’s been a long and windy rollercoaster to mobile sports betting in Maryland, but the launch seems to be close.
There are currently seven in-person sportsbooks in Maryland, with BetMGM, FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, TwinSpires, Barstool, BetRivers, and PointsBet all having in-person sportsbooks and more to come.
Unfortunately, the delay to launch mobile sports betting has led to a lot of frustration, but Maryland could see the delay finally end with the first mobile sportsbooks launching before the end of the year.
When Maryland sports betting went live, the hope was to have mobile betting available by the start of the 2022-23 NFL season, but those expectations were not met due to various delays.
Maryland is in a difficult situation as they have to contend with the unique sports betting laws. For a sports betting license applicant to be awarded a license, they must go through Maryland Lottery and Gaming (MLG) as well as Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC).
SWARC is a commission created when sports betting was legalized in the state. Its job is to review and award licenses to qualified applicants.
The process of gaining a license is a long one. Potential licensees must first submit applications and have them approved, undergo background and financial checks, gain SWARC approval, and then undergo responsible gaming plans and internal control checks.
In Maryland, there has been a strong emphasis on the inclusion of diversity in the industry. Each licensee will have 30 days to submit a Diversity Plan to SWARC after being awarded a sports wagering license.
Part of the law included a mandated industry analysis related to the diversity requirements, which took close to a year for MLG to receive, making it a major component of the delay.
Maryland legislature seems just as anxious to get mobile betting underway as bettors because it’s estimated that mobile sports betting will bring a large amount of revenue to the state. Land-based sportsbooks brought in over $31 million in September alone.
It took a while to open the licensing application, but each entity had to have their application and fees submitted by Oct. 21 to begin the review, which could take up to 45 days.
On October 27, MLG will publicly announce to the applicants that they are determined to qualify for a license. Then on Nov. 21, SWARC will announce the entities that have been awarded a license giving them the green light to start taking online bets shortly after.
A few months ago, the thought was that it would likely be closer to the Super Bowl before the launch of mobile betting but thankfully, the process has sped up in recent months. While the official launch of mobile sports betting is still at least a month away, it’s good news that we’ll see it happen before the end of the year.
The expectation is that the first mobile sportsbooks will launch sometime in Late November/early December but it’s contingent on how fast SWARC and MLG can go through the applications and regulatory process. It’ll be a welcome day for all involved when the long launch process concludes.
What To Expect When Mobile Betting Goes Live
Mobile sports betting won’t have a universal start date in Maryland. It will begin on a rolling basis so that sportsbooks can begin to launch once the licensing process and the MLG review are finished. Starting on a rolling basis is key to getting things started as quickly as possible.
No more than 60 mobile sportsbooks can be licensed in the state according to Maryland law. Likely, the major sportsbooks like DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, and BetMGM will be some of the first to launch. Caesars, FanDuel, and BetMGM all currently have in-person sportsbooks at their casino partners in Maryland.
When mobile sports betting finally launches, it will be much more convenient for sports bettors in Maryland as bettors will get to place bets on all their favorite teams from their own devices.
Sports bettors in Maryland can use this DraftKings Maryland Promo Code when it does launch to place bets on the various sports offered and can learn more about DraftKings ahead of the launch.