Maryland Sports Betting Launch: Everything You Need To Know

Sep 3, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; A Maryland state flag is unfurled over the student section during the first half of the game Buffalo Bulls at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium.
Image Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The sports betting world is abuzz with the news that the long-awaited launch of the MD sports betting industry is finally drawing near. Pundits are pointing to a late-2022 launch, which would be two years to the month after the state legalized sports betting.

The abnormally slow rollout has been chalked up to two factors.

First, the state legalized sports betting via referendum in November 2020. The referendum required the state legislature to craft and pass a bill, which it did in May 2021. The need for enabling legislation caused a six-month delay.

Second, the bifurcated structure of Maryland’s regulatory regime, which includes Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control and the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC). The latter agency is tasked with ensuring the industry consists of women and minority-owned businesses. The presence of two regulatory bodies has slowed the process to a veritable standstill.

The Timeline

This week, SWARC scrapped the idea of a universal start date and approved a rolling approval process, which will help speed up the launch of the industry. But, there is a but.

If the state receives more than its cap of 60 applicants, the process will be delayed as each applicant must be vetted. Fortunately, that scenario is improbable.

If everything goes to plan, regulators have indicated mobile sportsbooks could be live by the end of 2022.

The current timeline for Maryland mobile sportsbooks is as follows:

  • Oct. 21: The final day to apply for a mobile sports betting license. The licensing process will continue on a rolling basis post-deadline.
  • Dec. 5: The deadline for SWARC’s review process of the initial batch of applicants. Once the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control approve, operators can launch immediately.

No, There Won’t Be 60 Online Sportsbooks In Maryland

Maryland’s sports betting law allows up to 60 mobile operators. The final number will fall well below that threshold, considering there aren’t 60 unique mobile sports betting operators in the U.S.

So how many mobile sportsbooks will apply for a Maryland license? Considering its population of 6 million and strong economic metrics (Maryland is the #1 ranked state in median income and #5 in disposable income), expect at least half of the available mobile licenses to be claimed.

With two dozen or more options, there won’t be a shortage of competitive deposit bonuses for Maryland sports bettors to take advantage of. Bottom line: the Maryland sports betting market, at least at the outset, will be one of the most bettor-friendly in the country.

What Sportsbooks Will Be Available In Maryland

There is little doubt that all of the major national players will launch online sportsbooks in Maryland:

With reasonable licensing fees ($2 million once approved) and tax rates (15% on mobile wagers), the state will also be a soft landing spot for operators like Bet365, Fanatics, and Superbook looking to expand their presence or find an entry into the U.S. market.