UPDATE: Maryland online sports betting to officially launch on November 23
It’s all finally happening. Maryland online sports betting will officially launch on Wednesday, Nov. 23, just in time for a busy week of Thanksgiving football.
Maryland Lottery Director John A. Martin made the announcement at today’s Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency meeting. The announcement came one day after the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) approved the first 10 online sports betting licenses in the state.
Martin said a launch time for Nov. 23 will be announced at a later date.
UPDATED: Sports betting operators will be able to accept bets on Monday, Nov. 21, from 2 to 10 p.m. as part of a “test launch” requirement to fully launch on Nov. 23. Operators will accept bets in this timeframe and then have to shut down on Tuesday, Nov. 22, as the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency review Monday’s operations.
If all goes well, the operators will be able to fully launch on Nov. 23 at a to be determined time.
Maryland online sports betting heading for launch
Ten sports betting operators will be eligible to launch next week, Martin said, as long as they successfully complete their necessary controlled demonstrations.
SWARC approved these operators and their partners for an online license at Tuesday morning’s commission meeting.
- Barstool Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- Parx Interactive
- Rush Street Interactive
Barstool Sportsbook will operate online sports betting for the Hollywood Casino in Perryville; BetFred will operate betting for OTB parlor Long Shots; BetMGM will operate betting for MGM National Harbor Casino; Caesars Sportsbook will operate betting for Horseshoe Baltimore Casino; DraftKings will operate betting for the Maryland State Fairgrounds; FanDuel will operate betting for the Maryland Live! casino; Parx Interactive will operate betting for Greenmount OTB; PointsBet will operate betting for Riverboat on the Potomac; and Rush Street Interactive will operate betting for Bingo World.
Fanatics and the Washington Commanders also made their sports betting partnership official after months of rumors. Fanatics will officially operate online sports betting for the NFL franchise, and will likely operate its retail betting services as well.
Martin said Long Shots and Betfred; Greenmount OTB and Parx Interactive; and the Commanders and Fanatics have informed the lottery they will not be ready for next week’s launch.
Long time coming for Maryland online sports betting
Next week’s launch will finally put an end to the longest journey for any state from a bill being approved to an online sports bet being placed. Maryland voters approved sports betting in 2020 and Gov. Larry Hogan signed a sports betting bill into law in 2021.
Since its formation, SWARC has been tasked with ensuring gender and race-based fairness during the state’s sports betting licensing process. SWARC Chairman Thomas Brandt said yesterday that the commission has taken its task “very seriously” to ensure diversity in the state’s sports betting market.
The process was largely held up as SWARC was forced to wait on the results of a sports wagering industry study for more than a year. In a preview of the study findings in August, SWARC found that it could not apply race- and/or gender-conscious criteria in its online sports betting licensing process.
To counteract the findings, and not use gender- or race-conscious criteria in its licensing process, SWARC instituted a Personal Net Worth (PNW) provision in its application process.
Under this provision, every applicant for an online sports betting license or a Class B facility sports wagering license had to demonstrate that at least 5% of its direct or indirect ownership is by individuals with a PNW no more than $1.847 million.
Each approved applicant this morning reached that provision.
Maryland sports betting revenue projections
Maryland sports betting revenue estimates from Spectrum Gaming were shared at the SWARC meeting earlier in the week. For the state’s first year operation, a representative said estimates place Maryland sports betting gross gaming revenue at $123.3 million, which translates to $26.4 million in taxes.
By year five? The representative said estimates for the state jump to $542.4 million in gross gaming revenue with $99.7 million in taxes.