Maryland online sports betting may potentially begin in November
If all goes well in the next month, Maryland online sports betting may take its first bet in November, according to a Maryland Lottery and Gaming regulator.
Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin today at a VIXIO “Meet the Regulators” meeting shared good news for Maryland online sports betting. If all goes well, Martin said Maryland could take its first online sports bet by “late November.”
“I am confident there will be mobile wagering in the state of Maryland in 2022,” Martin said.
This estimate comes more than a week after Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) decided to allow rolling approval of online sportsbook licenses, rather than call for a universal start date for all sportsbooks.
Updated Maryland online sports betting launch
Online operators must submit applications to SWARC by Friday, Oct. 21, to be considered for a license. Maryland Lottery and Gaming will announced qualified online operators on Thursday, Oct. 27, and SWARC can then take up to 45 days to consider awarding a license. After SWARC awards a license, the operators will be sent back to Maryland Lottery and Gaming for the approval of their internal controls.
Companies currently operating Maryland retail sports betting facilities will likely be found qualified first, Martin said. Barstool, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, and PointsBet all currently operate sportsbooks in the state.
If SWARC doesn’t take the entire 45 days to award licenses to applicants, Martin said Maryland online sports betting could potentially begin in late November.
“If SWARC approves licenses in early November, we could potentially begin online sports betting in late November. If SWARC approves licenses in mid-November, we could potentially get online sports betting up and running by early December,” he said during the forum.
Staggered Launch Accelerates Online Sports Betting
SWARC Chairman Thomas Brandt said the rolling approvals will only happen if the commission receives less than 60 online sports betting applications. The Maryland sports betting bill caps online sports betting licenses at 60 in the state.
“There are 30 (retail) and 60 (online), which none of us assume will be exceeded, but we certainly cannot approve more if the law doesn’t allow us to go over those numbers,” Brandt said.
By allowing a staggered launch, the state will not have to wait for the full complement of sportsbook applicants to be approved before launching sports betting.
This will likely allow SWARC to quickly approve licenses for sportsbooks such as Barstool, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, and PointsBet, as they’ve already been vetted by the commission and Maryland Lottery and Gaming for their retail sports betting services.