It’s Official: Maryland Mobile Sports Betting Launches Next Week

November 18, 2022
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A two-year wait for mobile sports betting to launch in Maryland will come to an end on Wednesday, according to the state's chief lottery official.

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A two-year wait for mobile sports betting to launch in Maryland will come to an end on Wednesday (November 23), according to the state's chief lottery official.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming director John Martin confirmed the launch date on Thursday (November 17) during gaming regulators’ monthly meeting, although the exact time of day that wagers will start being accepted has yet to be determined.

“We hope to announce a start time for Wednesday early next week,” Martin said.

Martin told the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission meeting that three of the state's ten initial mobile sports betting licensees have advised his agency that they will not be ready next week for the launch.

The three licensees to go live at a later date are Long Shots, an off-track betting parlor partnered with Betfred, Fanatics on behalf of the NFL’s Washington Commanders, and Parx Interactive, partnered with Greenmount Station OTB.

“So those three entities, while awarded licenses, will not be ready,” Martin said. “We will proceed with the other seven licensees with the intent to launch on Wednesday.”

He assured commissioners they would receive a further update as the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency gets “further into this final issuance stage.”

Prior to next week’s full launch, mobile sportsbooks will have to successfully complete their controlled demonstrations of their products. The official date for those demonstrations were not announced during Thursday’s commission meeting, although there will reportedly occur on Monday.

“I want to stress that the controlled demonstration is one of several operational requirements that must be successfully completed before launch,” Martin said.

The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) awarded mobile licenses on Wednesday to an initial ten of 21 applicants.

Those receiving licenses were Barstool Sportsbook, Betfred, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, Fanatics, Parx and PointsBet.

Sports betting was legalized in Maryland through a ballot referendum in November 2020.

After passage of implementing legislation in the 2021 session, it was not until December 2021 that retail wagering began at the state's three largest land-based casinos.

Currently, there are eight retail sportsbooks in Maryland.

Greenmount Station, a restaurant and OTB in Hampstead, some 29 miles northwest of Baltimore, is among the 17 entities that were designated in the sports wagering law to operate retail sportsbooks and was the eighth to open.

“We had an excellent run in the month of October and the first week of November,” Martin told the commission. “We will see some uptick in the November numbers as well.”

The Maryland Lottery reported record total casino revenue of $212.92m in October, a 37.4 percent increase from $154.97m in October 2021.

“So if you look at the numbers, and I do, on a year-to-date basis, lottery sales are up 3.2 percent,” Martin said. “Lottery profits are up 7.2 percent for the first four months of the fiscal year.”

On the casino side, he said revenues are up 8.1 percent, and casino contributions to the state are up 2.9 percent, according to lottery data.

“So we are off to a great start here in the first third of the fiscal year,” Martin said.

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