Nearly a year has passed since the first retail sportsbook opened in Maryland. Now, the Old Line state is gearing up to launch online sports betting this Wednesday, Nov. 23.
There are many reasons to suggest Maryland sportsbook apps will be a huge success for everyone involved. Here are five.
Reasons for Maryland online sports betting success
The public overwhelmingly voted for online sports betting in Maryland back in November 2020. But bureaucratic haggling, a disparity study and a string of other hurdles have held up the process since then. As a result, it’s become one of the longest online sports betting launch delays the US has yet to see.
The old adage seems to ring true in this scenario, though: good things come to those who wait.
1. Free money promos from sportsbooks
Regular Maryland sports betting promos may not be available for another few days. Still, some of the best sportsbooks aren’t waiting. They’re already offering pre-launch bonuses.
Not to be bested, DraftKings Sportsbook MD has a sweet offer for Marylanders: a pre-launch bonus of $200 in free bets as well as a chance to win a $100,000 free bet.
During the sign-up process, users can opt-in to the free bet sweepstakes when signing up via a desktop or mobile device. This also ensures that the $200 in free bets will automatically be deposited into a user’s account once DraftKings officially launches in Maryland.
Additional points to bear in mind about the DraftKings Maryland pre-registration offer are:
- All new users must verify their identity, age and location.
- Users will receive their $200 in free bets upon launch. The free bets will come as eight $25 tokens, and each token will be valid for seven days.
- Five lucky winners will get a $100,000 free bet from the giveaway sweepstakes. Winners must use their free bets on launch day, which have a maximum odds limit of +300.
Marylanders have had access to a pre-live offer from FanDuel Sportsbook Maryland for more than a month now. By signing up at the sportsbook before the official launch of online sports betting in the state, they’ll receive $100 in free bets.
It’s also important to note that redeeming this offer will not affect FanDuel’s standard $10,000 no-sweat first bet post-launch.
To make the most of this FanDuel Maryland pre-live offer, here’s how to do it:
- Download the FanDuel Sportsbook mobile app to get started.
- New users are required to verify their identity, age and location when registering.
- After creating an account, players receive $100 in free bets upon launch. The bonus must then be used within 30 days.
- Free bets are not cash redeemable, meaning bettors must use them to wager rather than immediately withdrawing the funds.
2. More tax revenue for the state
Analysts and gambling experts forecast impressive figures for Maryland’s mobile sports betting market. According to Steven Ruddock, senior gaming analyst at American Affiliate, the state could reap upwards of $30 million in annual tax revenue. The bulk of that will come from online sports betting.
Ruddock expects online sportsbooks will generate $200 to $225 million in operator revenue. From that sum, the state will receive between $30 and $33 million in tax revenue. If an average hold of, say 7%, is maintained, the higher end of that revenue range would equate to online sportsbooks generating more than $3.2 billion in the first-year betting handle.
3. Advantages of regulated sports betting markets
The online gaming sector will soon become one of Maryland’s fastest-growing industries. And given the market’s potential for generating big business, having in place a robust and detailed regulatory framework will benefit stakeholders across the board.
Regulated online gambling markets have many advantages over unlicensed offshore sites. Besides providing safety and privacy for users, they allow pragmatic business considerations and meaningful policies to address ethical issues.
By introducing a licensed-based online gaming market, Maryland is also mitigating the dangers of black market competition.
A properly regulated gambling industry would lead to:
- Improved player safety – payments, privacy, fraud prevention;
- Superior customer support – dealing with problem gambling, protecting minors;
- Reliable business climate – tax revenue collection, employment.
4. Possible hike in tourism
When it comes to traveling and gambling, Maryland offers plenty of perfect venues.
Sporting events drive tourism in Maryland, taking place all over the state throughout the year. And naturally, sports betting goes hand in hand with sporting events. So, whether players are keen to bet on the Baltimore Ravens, are heading to a Washington Capitals game or are looking for Baltimore Orioles odds while in town, bettors are sure to find something they’ll enjoy.
Being so close to the nation’s capital will also serve to benefit Maryland’s fledgling market, as Washington D.C. offers only one online sports betting app.
With that in mind, it’s important to consider that Maryland is just about fenced in by states that all have some form of legal sports betting. Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia all border Maryland, and they all have online sports betting options.
As such, it might not be easy to entice travelers from every neighboring jurisdiction, but there are many states out there with no online sports wagering and not much of a sports climate.
5. Up to 60 online sportsbooks and a staggered launch
According to regulations, Maryland law allows for up to 60 mobile wagering licenses to launch in the state. Thus far, only 10 operators have been reviewed and given initial approval. There’s also the potential for more when lawmakers review the gambling bill in 2025.
With so many betting options, it won’t be hard for players to find one that best fits their needs.
In late October, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC) streamlined consideration for 10 sportsbooks that already had retail licenses. Since they’ve already been vetted by the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission, these brands were able to gain faster approval.
As many as seven sports betting apps are prepared to go live this Wednesday on Maryland’s initial launch date:
Licenses are set to be awarded on a rolling basis rather than on a universal start date for all sportsbooks. This way, Marylanders can get to betting online as quickly as possible.