State gambling regulators awarded the first wave of mobile sports betting licenses Wednesday morning, putting a possible Thanksgiving start to Maryland’s much-anticipated market on the table.
The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) unanimously approved 10 online sportsbook operators to accept digital bets in the Old Line State. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency has since officially identified a launch date of Wednesday, Nov. 23.
Maryland sportsbook apps might debut before Thanksgiving
Maryland regulators received a total of 21 mobile applications for consideration. Ten of those applicants were in the first phase of review and were considered for license approval during the meeting.
Lottery and gaming officials must conduct a controlled demonstration of each mobile operator before launch. Sportsbooks will be contacting prospective customers in the next few days to participate in that final pre-launch step.
Maryland online sportsbook applicants approved for launch are:
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- BetParx Sportsbook
- BetFred Sportsbook
- Fanatics Sportsbook
- Barstool Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- PointsBet Sportsbook
Approved sportsbooks must now complete a memorandum of understanding and submit diversity plans. Meanwhile, Lottery & Gaming will review each operator’s internal controls and responsible gaming measures before officially issuing licenses.
The Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC) met Thursday, Nov. 16 for a regularly scheduled meeting. MLGCC Director John A. Martin revealed a Nov. 23 launch date for the first seven of Maryland’s online sportsbook. A precise launch time for this coming Wednesday has yet to be announced.
Ultimately, state law allows for as many as 60 mobile licenses, and regulators will review such applications on a rolling basis. The remaining 11 mobile applicants and six retail sportsbook applications will be assessed going forward.
The next SWARC meeting will take place Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 9 a.m., followed by an MLGCC meeting on Dec. 15.
Breaking down Maryland online sports betting numbers
Online sports betting is projected to generate millions of dollars in taxes to be used for education funding throughout the state.
The state will collect $26.4 million in 2023, according to estimates from Spectrum Gaming Group and the Taft Law Firm presented during Wednesday’s SWARC meeting. The total online sports betting revenue taxes will increase each year, reaching $99.7 million by 2027.
PlayMaryland projections suggest an even more-robust market in Maryland. The first full year of online sports betting could produce nearly $4 billion in handle (amount wagered). At that rate, operators could expect roughly $480 million in revenue, of which Maryland would collect more than $72 million in taxes.