Crab Sports Is Hyper-Local, And We’ll See If That Matters In The Maryland Sports Betting Market

Written By Dan Holmes on July 24, 2023
Crab Sports Maryland

The Maryland sports betting field will welcome one more competitor when Crab Sports is available as a mobile app. It becomes the 11th sportsbook app in the state.

As of July 21, the app was not available from the Google Play store, but the company has indicated it will be operational soon.

Crab Sports was granted approval from the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission in June, but that provisional approval must be followed with official licensure. The app will need to be tested before a sports betting license is granted, which typically requires a dry run with same wagers being allowed by a small number of consumers. A licenses would be approved by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission, following that controlled demonstration.

In recent years, the landscape of Maryland sports betting has experienced a significant transformation, driven by evolving regulations and a growing demand for immersive betting experiences. In March, Crab Sports LLC, a Maryland company, entered into an agreement with one of Baltimore’s most famous brands: Jimmy’s Famous Seafood.

Crab Sports touts itself as “backed by Maryland people,” due to its roots in the city famous for crab cakes, National Aquarium, and the Orioles and Ravens.

Other “Local” Betting Apps Available

After you get through the list of “major” brands in sports betting, such as DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, BetMGM, and even the new competitor Fanatics Sportsbook, you find smaller niche sports betting apps.

In some states, like Michigan, there are a handful of localized sports betting options for the consumer, and those brands are surviving.

The Firekeepers Sportsbook in Michigan is owned and operated by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi, a large group of members from the southwest of that state, based in Battle Creek. Their app is licensed and regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, just like BetMGM and FanDuel etc. It’s available from the Apple App Store, as well as Google Play. Since its launch, Firekeepers has remained a steady player in the industry, though it only grabs about 1% of the market share.

Much of the play on Firekeepers and other local sportsbook apps like Eagle Casino Sportsbook, also in Michigan, comes from brand loyalty. Tribal members or locals often feel an obligation to assist their community.

Crab Sports Will Offer Betting on Ravens, NFL, MLB and More

Sports fans will be able to place wagers on the Orioles, Ravens, Commanders, and Wizards, as well as the Capitals, soon. The Crab Sports betting app should be in place before the NFL and college football season.

The company has promised that betting options will be abundant in its new app, which will also be available for iOS devices. Customers will find simple moneyline bets, as well as more intricate parlays and prop bets. You’ll also be able to place live bets on games in action.

Maryland launched online sports betting in November of 2022. The market has been busy and successful. Since the state launched retail sportsbooks in 2021, there has been in excess of $3 billion in bets wagered. In June, sports betting activity resulted in $2.8 million in tax revenue for Maryland.

FanDuel and DraftKings have dominated the total handle figures in Maryland in the online sportsbook competition. But new sportsbooks like Fanatics are entering the market to carve out a slice.

Into that fray steps Crab Sports, far from a nationwide brand and sports betting heavyweight. But, with its name and reliance on partnerships with local businesses, the fledgling sports betting operator could make a place for itself. Some sports bettors prefer a small, niche company to place their bets, and the appeal of a “Maryland-flavored” app could prove to be a differentiator for the company.

The sports betting technology platform for Crab Sports will be supplied by Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG), a renowned supplier in the industry.

Customers must be at least 21 years of age and be geographically present in Maryland to register for an use Crab Sportsbook or other sportsbooks in the state.

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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes writes about sports betting, sports media, casino and sports betting legislative matters for several of the Play sites, including PlayMaryland, PlayMichigan and PlayMassachusetts. He's the author of three books, and previously reported for Major League Baseball, as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters.

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