Live Updates: Maryland Sports Betting Launch News

Posted on April 11, 2022 - Last Updated on August 1, 2022

Maryland officially ushered in retail sports betting through five of the state’s six casinos in December 2021. But everyone wants to know: When will online sports betting in Maryland go live?

It’s clear there’s a market for it after $32.5 million worth of wagers was accepted in person during January. February saw $25.5 million worth of sports bets placed at various casinos. In March, $31.0 million of sports wagers were placed.

The landscape should really take shape when statewide mobile sports betting is expected to become available later this year. However, the best-case scenario for an official launch is likely the beginning of the 2022-2023 NFL season.

With no firm timeline at the moment, PlayMaryland is here to help you make sense of the latest news. We’ll be updating this post as changes happen, so check back to stay informed.

Maryland sports betting launch updates – 2022

Aug. 1 — Bingo World opens BetRivers Sportsbook

Bingo World officially unveiled its BetRivers-branded sportsbook with a ribbon-cutting event on Monday, October 1. The Brooklyn Park-based bingo hall, approved to become the state’s ninth retail sportsbook in March, will be the first in Maryland outside a casino.

July 13 — SWARC approves proposed regulations, application for mobile sports betting

Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) approved proposed online sports betting regulations and applications during its July meeting on Wednesday. It also approved the same for competitive retail facility sports betting licenses.

SWARC will now submit them to the Maryland Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review for “emergency approval.” Once approved there, a 30-day public comment period will then begin.

July 11 — Drafts of regulations, application for online sports betting completed

During the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission’s June meeting, Jim Nielsen of Maryland Lottery and Gaming said the draft of the mobile sports betting regulations is “about 95% done.” On Monday, July 11, that draft, as well as one for online applications, was posted online.

These drafts will be addressed and considered during SWARC’s meeting on July 13.

July 11 — Sports betting handle slides again in June

Maryland sportsbooks combined to bring in just over $19.1 million in total handle in the month of June. It was the first time the total handle didn’t eclipse $20 million in a full month since launching retail sports betting in the Old Line State in December 2021.

July 6 — Long Shot’s partners with Betfred Sports

As one of the nine Maryland locations to receive a sports betting license, Long Shot’s finally has a partner to get off the ground. The Maryland Jockey Club’s OTB announced on July 6 that it is teaming up with Betfred Sports for a retail sportsbook in Frederick.

Betfred Sports is a bookmaker based in the U.K. that owns and operates over 1,400 betting shops in the nation. It made its way to the United States in 2019 and is licensed in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Arizona.

The companies will also expand into mobile together once the state officially ushers in online sports betting.

June 29 — SWARC continues to work through draft regulations, applications

Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission met on Wednesday to continue the discussion surrounding draft regulations and applications for mobile sports betting in the state. SWARC chairman Thomas Brandt said he hopes to approve the aforementioned in the coming weeks, a sentiment he shared during the commission’s last meeting two weeks ago.

During that previous meeting on June 16, Jim Nielsen of Maryland Lottery and Gaming (MLGCC) stated that the draft of the regulations was “about 95% done” at that time. This is just the first of numerous logistical steps required before mobile sports wagering gets off the ground in the Old Line State.

June 23 — Fanatics gets initial approval from MLGCC

Fanatics got initial approval for a retail sports betting license in Maryland on Thursday. The unanimous vote came during the monthly Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC) meeting. 

Fanatics still needs to get approval from the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) before it can officially launch a retail sportsbook in the Old Line State. There was no future site announced during Thursday’s meeting.

June 15 — Governor Larry Hogan calls out SWARC

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan called out the state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission on Wednesday morning. In a letter posted to Twitter, he urged the group to “act immediately” in regard to getting mobile sports betting off the ground in the Old Line State.

Hogan reiterated he hopes online sports wagering will be live by the time the upcoming NFL season kicks off in September. SWARC had no update at its meeting the following day.

June 10 — Maryland sports betting handle dips to $23.1 million in May

For the first time in 2022, Maryland sportsbooks failed to eclipse $25 million in sports betting handle in the month of May. In fact, at just north of $23 million, May was the lowest full-month handle brought in since retail sports betting launched in December 2021.

June 6 — Hollywood Casino Perryville launches Barstool Sportsbook

Despite partnering with Penn National Gaming last year, Hollywood Casino Perryville initially launched its sportsbook under its own name in December 2021. On Monday, June 6, however, that changed with the casino officially launching the new Barstool Sportsbook.

While already live, Hollywood is hosting a grand opening on Friday, June 10 to usher in the Barstool brand.

May 23 — If Commanders relocate, what does that mean for Maryland sports betting?

ESPN reported on Monday that the Washington Commanders recently bought a piece of 200-acre land in Virginia with the idea of potentially building a new stadium there. However, the team is keeping its options open for the time being.

At the current FedEx Field in Landover, Md., the Commanders would have the option to open a retail sportsbook if they wanted. However, Virginia does not allow retail sportsbooks outside its five approved casinos throughout the state.

May 19 — Mobile sports betting won’t launch until 2023?

According to a report from Legal Sports Report, a launch of mobile sports wagering in Maryland by the 2023 Super Bowl is “likely a stretch.” The initial target date to go live was Week 1 of the upcoming NFL season, so a delay beyond the Super Bowl in February would be a disappointment to Maryland bettors.

May 18 — No update from Sports Wagering Application Review Commission in latest meeting … again

The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission met on May 18 and provided no new launch updates. There was again no update on the state’s disparity survey.

May 10 — Maryland sportsbooks see $26.9 million of handle in April

The $26.9 million figure is the second-lowest full-month handle among Maryland sportsbooks since retail sports betting launched in December 2021. The collective hold percentage was reported by state officials at 10.5%.

May 3 — Caesars CEO ‘skeptical’ Maryland launches mobile sports betting in 2022

Caesars CEO Tom Reeg said he’s “skeptical Maryland launches mobile (sports betting) in 2022” during the company’s quarterly earnings call Tuesday, May 3. However, he does fully expect to have roots in Maryland when mobile eventually goes live.

April 22 — Cumberland preparing for sports betting in the city

Officials for the city of Cumberland, Maryland, are preparing for the likelihood of sports betting operations within city limits. According to the Cumberland Times-News, the mayor and the city council met on Tuesday to amend a zoning code to pave the way for sports betting in Cumberland.

“I think it is something that fits well into some of these local establishments we have here in town,” Cumberland Mayor Ray Morriss said to the Times-News. “I think it would be a good thing. It’s another form of entertainment.

“There are a couple people, one on Baltimore Street and another downtown gentleman has indicated he might apply for it.”

April 21 — No launch news from SWARC

The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission met on April 21 and no new launch updates came from the gathering.

There was no update on the state’s disparity survey.

April 11 — Sports betting handle back over $30 million in March

The NCAA Tournament helped push Maryland’s sports betting handle back north of $30 million after a dip to $25.5 million in February. The collective holding percentage among state sportsbooks was 12.7%.

March 28 — Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control approves FansUnite’s American Affiliate

The AmAff division will “provide customer acquisition services for licensed sports wagering entities” in the state.

FansUnite is a global sports and entertainment company that operates multiple B2C brands and B2B software for the online gambling industry. It acquired American Affiliate, a pure-play affiliate company, in November 2021.

March 16 — Disparity survey still underway, no timeline on mobile betting launch

No concrete timeline for mobile and online betting came out of a SWARC meeting on March 16. The focus remains on the completion of a disparity survey before establishing a timeline.

The legislation that legalized sports betting in the Old Line State included a mandate that forced women- and minority-owned businesses to participate in the market. In response, SWARC tasked the law firm of Taft Stettinius & Hollister with completing a survey that highlights any barriers to entry those groups may face.

“They’ve begun their work,” said Maryland Assistant Attorney General David Stamper. “The Department of Legislative Services, Lottery, and Taft are working to get the necessary information so they can move forward as quickly as possible.”

Stamper didn’t provide any more information on the progress of the study. His comments don’t bode well for the best-case scenario September launch.

March 16 — Bingo World approved to become state’s ninth retail sportsbook

The SWARC voted unanimously in favor of giving the Brooklyn Park facility a sports betting license. The approval marks the completion of the third step of a four-step process in a sportsbook launch.

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission (MLGC) will look over the day-to-day aspects of the business such as accounting systems and security practices. Once the commission approves those procedures, the license will be issued.

Jan. 25 — Focus on disparity study

The SWARC met and discussed updates on the disparity survey. SWARC Chair Thomas Brandt said the group would not take any further action until the disparity study is complete, so it remains the No. 1 priority at this time.

Jan. 13 — Mobile betting targeted for 2022

Maryland Lottery & Gaming official John A. Martin told PlayMaryland that full statewide mobile sports betting should launch by September. The delay for online betting has been an unfortunate bummer to Maryland’s sports wagering launch. But Martin said officials are working to expedite the process that had also slowed the debut of retail betting.

2021 Maryland sports betting updates

Dec. 23, 2021 — Barstool opens at Hollywood Perryville

Hollywood Casino Perryville opened its sports-betting operations as the fifth Maryland sportsbook. Hollywood Casino Perryville is accepting sports wagers under the Barstool Sportsbook brand.

Dec. 17, 2021 — TwinSpires opens at Ocean Downs Casino

Ocean Downs Casino becomes Maryland’s fourth sports-betting location. The latest retail sports-betting operator began taking bets under its TwinSpires Sportsbook moniker.

Dec. 9-10, 2021 — Sports betting is officially legal in Maryland

Legal sports betting finally arrived when Gov. Hogan placed the first legal sports wager in Maryland history. He bet on a Washington vs. Baltimore matchup in the Super Bowl with his wager at BetMGM Sports Book & Lounge at MGM National Harbor.

A day after MGM National Harbor officially kicked off MD sports betting, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore accepted its first wager at the on-site Caesars Sportsbook. Live! Casino & Hotel also opened its FanDuel Sportsbook the same day.

Dec. 8, 2021 — PointsBet, University of Maryland strike deal

PointsBet Sportsbook inked a multi-year partnership with University of Maryland sports. The deal, which includes fan-facing in-game and campus activations, makes the Terrapins the first Maryland school and first Big Ten conference member to sign a deal with a sportsbook operator.

Dec. 8, 2021 — SWARC approves Riverboat on the Potomac and Long Shot’s

The SWARC formally approved Riverboat on the Potomac and Long Shot’s for retail sports betting. They expect to go live sometime in 2022. Riverboat on the Potomac will be the future home of PointsBet after agreeing to a partnership deal.

Nov. 18, 2021 — SWARC approves casinos’ licenses

The five casinos that received preliminary approval from the MLGC were also approved by the SWARC. This step paved the way for them to begin offering in-person retail sports betting by the end of 2021.

Oct. 22, 2021 — Two more casinos approved

The MLGC gave preliminary approval for Hollywood Casino and Ocean Downs for in-person sports betting. Like the others, these casinos needed final approval from the SWARC.

Oct. 6, 2021 — First applications get preliminary approval

Three Maryland casinos had their licensing applications approved by the MLGCC:

July 15, 2021 — Regulators approve sports betting regulations draft for public review

Members of the MLGC approved a set of draft Maryland sports betting regulations for public comment. Mostly a formality, this was a monumental step toward legal sportsbooks within state lines.

May 18, 2021 — Gov. Larry Hogan signs HB 940

Sports betting in the Old Line State officially became legal when Gov. Larry Hogan signed HB 940. At the time, there was no official timetable for launch, though stakeholders were targeting the start of the 2021-22 NFL season.

April 12, 2021 — State passes sports betting bill

Maryland House and Senate leaders overwhelmingly reached a compromise to pass sports betting legislation on Monday, April 12, 2021. The Senate passed the bill on the third reading by a 47-0 vote.

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Griffin Adams

Griffin Adams is the managing editor for PlayMaryland, where he oversees news coverage on the site. His previous work has appeared in publications such as The Athletic, USA Today, Sports Illustrated and MLB.com, among others. Outside of work, Adams can be found on the golf course, playing pick-up basketball or trusting the process as a loyal Philadelphia 76ers fan.

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