The era of mobile sports betting in Maryland has begun…finally. At 9:00am Wednesday, seven licensed companies were permitted to launch their apps and start taking wagers. The launch comes just in time for the Thanksgiving NFL games and the majority of the World Cup, among plenty of other sports.
The seven operators and their casino partners are as follows:
Barstool Sportsbook – Hollywood Casino Perryville
BetMGM – MGM National Harbor
BetRiver – Bingo World
Caesars Sportsbook – Horseshoe Casino
DraftKings – Crown MD Online Gaming (Maryland Fairgrounds)
FanDuel – Maryland Live! Casino and Hotel
PointsBet – Riverboat on the Potomac
There could be as many as 21 mobile sportsbooks by next fall. Three more operators – Parx Interactive, Betfred, and BetFanatics – have also been granted licenses by Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC), but were not ready to launch on Wednesday. Another 11 operators, the identities of which are unknown publicly, are in the background check process.
This has been a long time coming. Maryland residents approved sports betting two years ago. Brick-and-mortar sportsbooks have been open since December, but now Marylanders have easier wagering options.
Governor Larry Hogan, who will be replaced by Wes Moore in less than two months, was frustrated with how long it took to get mobile betting going, citing bureaucratic red tape for the delays.
Taxes from sports betting will go toward education programs. Proceeds are estimated to be $30 million next year, but Hogan believes they could be as high as $100 million per year by 2027.
“Sports betting is helping to keep all of these critical dollars in the state of Maryland,” Hogan said in a press conference. He added that he is going to put a couple bets on the Baltimore Ravens game this weekend, but joked that he might need help with the app because he’s never bet before.
People must be at least 21 years old to bet on sports in Maryland. As one would expect, the betting operators are offering all sorts of promotions to try to attract customers on launch day. In some jurisdictions, especially in other countries, there are harsh restrictions or even bans on gambling bonuses, but not Maryland. For the first year, there are absolutely no caps on how much money operators can offer customers to try to get them on the app.
Maryland’s neighboring states all have online sports betting, so as Governor Hogan said, this should keep most people’s sports betting dollars within state borders.