DraftKings took its first official step into entering the Maryland sports betting market.

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) approved DraftKings’ sports betting facility operator license application to operate a sportsbook underneath the grandstand at Timonium Racetrack at the Maryland State Fairgrounds.

The Maryland State Fair and Agricultural Society, the potential sports betting facility license holder, will have to be found qualified by the MLGCA before the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) can award its facility sports betting license.

DraftKings finds Maryland retail sports betting partner

The Timonium Racetrack is part of the Maryland State Fair and Agricultural Society. It currently serves as an off-track betting and simulcast center at the fairgrounds.

The Society and DraftKings entered into a 10-year gaming partnership in December of 2020 and both will split the cost of renovating the proposed sportsbook location. The Timonium Racetrack at the Maryland State Fairgrounds was one of the 17 original approved locations for retail sports betting in the Maryland sports betting bill.

MLGCA Chair E. Randolph Marriner briefly questioned Joe DeCristofaro, VP of Investor Relations at DraftKings, on recent news that DraftKings has lost more than $3 billion since 2018. DeCristofaro noted the company has launched in 18 states since 2018 and initial losses are a necessity to fund those launches.

“We’re gaining scale and profitability will improve,” he said.

DeCristofaro said DraftKings is expecting to become profitable in Q4 of 2023.

Despite the questions from the commission, the MLGCA unanimously approved (with one abstention) DraftKings’ application for a retail sports betting facility license.

It remains to be seen if DraftKings will also try to enter into the online sports betting space with the racetrack when Maryland online sports betting launches closer to the Super Bowl, or if it will use its current sports betting partnership with the Baltimore Ravens.

Another Maryland retail sports betting operator

The MLGCA has approved 12 of the 17 designated entities in the state’s sports betting bill for retail sports betting. Six of those 12 approved locations are currently operating in Maryland. They are as follows:

  • MGM National Harbor (BetMGM)
  • Live! Casino (FanDuel)
  • Horseshoe Casino (Caesars Sportsbook)
  • Hollywood Casino (Barstool Sportsbook)
  • Ocean Downs Casino (TwinSpires)
  • Bingo World (Rush Street Interactive)

The MLGCA has also approved three off-track betting venues; Riverboat on the Potomac, Long Shot’s, and Greenmount Station. All three are completing facility upgrades or operational requirements in preparation for their launch dates, which have not been determined.