Maryland Online Sportsbooks Plan Big Promotions For Launch

Posted on October 11, 2022 - Last Updated on November 14, 2022

Sports betting’s presence in Maryland will soon be hard to miss.

Sportsbooks are gearing up to flood the Old Line State with advertising and promotions of all types once online sports betting launches later this year.

Sportsbook ads set to flood Maryland market

Sportsbooks are beginning to jockey for position as online sports betting in Maryland saunters up to the starting gate.

Eager Maryland sports fans will soon be able to sign up with multiple sportsbooks and begin taking advantage of the onslaught of pre-launch promotional offers. In return, they’ll just have to put up with an influx of commercials, billboards, and online ads urging them to bet.

States like Maryland embrace a competitive player acquisition environment. As such, sportsbooks scramble to attract new customers as quickly as possible upon launch.

Dan Singer, head analyst at sports and gaming consulting firm McKinsey, noted:

“When a market opens up, you’ve got to get out there and start acquiring, because being the first book that someone downloads give you roughly twice as much action as being the second or the third.”

Virginia serves as living proof

Virginia is a perfect example of such market dominance. The first two sportsbooks to launch in 2021, DraftKings and FanDuel, now claim over 63% of the market share in 2022. The other 12 operators continue fighting for the rest.

Getting a jump on the competition also helps sportsbooks limit the number of promos and giveaways required to hold onto market share. DraftKings and FanDuel combined for just 44% of the state’s promotions.

BetMGM spends the most at 37%, despite only having 19% of the market.

Similar trends have appeared in other US states as well.

During a recent earnings call, DraftKings confirmed a consistent year-over-year decrease in spending in every state where it currently operates.

Rush Street Interactive (BetRivers) noted in its Q1 earnings call that the company would’ve hit profitability in 2022, had it not expanded into new states.

Caesars among biggest spenders

When New York launched sports betting in January, Caesars Entertainment made a massive marketing leap, offering new customers a $3,000 risk-free bet plus a $300 deposit bonus. This strategy gave Caesars an immediate 40% market share. Caesars currently holds a roughly 20% share and has announced a recent pullback.

Now, Caesars Maryland, DraftKings MD, FanDuel Sportsbook MD, BetMGM Maryland and sports betting’s other big brands are gearing up to open the floodgates in Maryland.

Most recently, Horsehoe Casino Baltimore announced that it had applied for an online sports betting license. And none other than Caesars will serve as its sportsbook.

The duo made the news official in a tweet last week:

TV & online advertising

Naturally, sports programming ranks as prime locale for sportsbook advertising placement. However, each league controls the number of ads permitted in any specific category. For sports betting, there can only be a handful within any given game.

Since slots are limited, companies with smaller budgets would still get the same amount of airtime (if they can afford it).

Sportsbooks also tend to flock to social media as launch nears. There, they can leverage their large presence and generate a massive advertising spike.

In-person advertising

Sometimes it’s more efficient to work with a specific team instead of buying airtime. M&T Bank Stadium, home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, boasts deals with MGM, DraftKings, and Caesars. The partnership permits certain signage and promotional space to each sportsbook in the arena.

PointsBet has an agreement with the University of Maryland, although the state’s regulations will affect how they can leverage their partnership. Maryland has strict rules against “predatory marketing,” which includes advertisements directed at underage kids or feature actors that could be seen as underage. Both would be difficult in a college setting where a sizable percentage are under 21.

Despite these issues, PointsBet noted a focus on Maryland’s rollout during its recent earnings call.

As launch day nears, the plans of each sportsbook will become more and more evident as they compete to win over Maryland’s eager sports bettors.

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Ethan Matthew

Ethan Matthew was born and raised in Silver Spring and has written articles for PlayVirginia and George Washington University's HNN. He also researched and wrote content for museum exhibits in both Boston and Washington, DC.

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