Maryland welcomed its seventh sportsbook just before the first weekend of the 2022 NFL season.
PointsBet has officially debuted its retail sportsbook aboard the Riverboat on the Potomac.
PointsBet debuts sportsbook on Riverboat
PointsBet entered into a partnership with The Riverboat back in June to secure market access for both its retail and mobile Maryland sportsbooks.
Once mobile sports betting goes live, the PointsBet Maryland app should soon follow. Until then, the brand is keeping eager bettors occupied with in-person wagering.
The state’s newest retail sportsbook features 21 high-definition screens, food and beverage amenities, various seating options and appealing riverside views.
This particular partnership is unique in Maryland in that The Riverboat is an off-track betting facility rather than a casino. In fact, the Riverboat on the Potomac is one of four OTB facilities in Maryland and has accepted horse race wagers since 1994.
Paving the way for fellow sportsbooks
Moreover, the Riverboat on the Potomac is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), marking the first time in state history where an MBE will be actively involved in the gaming industry.
Paul Hannon, PointsBet SVP of corporate development, highlighted the feat’s significance in his comments:
“PointsBet is delighted to commence operations with The Riverboat team in the brand new sportsbook overlooking the beautiful Potomac River. This is a seminal achievement for the partnership and Maryland’s gaming industry at large as the launch represents the first Minority Business Enterprise to go live with licensed gaming in the state’s history, in line with the spirit of legislation.”
Minority inclusion and participation was an important part of expanding Maryland sports betting legislation back in April. Public comments and a recent study, however, showed those efforts have been falling short.
The venture between PointsBet and The Riverboat could help pave the way for other sportsbooks and MBE’s to join forces. Hannon confirmed that it’s a priority on PointsBet’s side, too.
“We look forward to the prospective opportunity of bringing the renowned PointsBet mobile product to Maryland next and in doing so further enhancing The Riverboat’s equity and inclusion in the space.”
PointsBet plans to participate responsibly
In addition to partnering with The Riverboat, PointsBet also joined forces with the University of Maryland. This move marked the first sportsbook deal with a Big Ten school. As such, PointsBet chose to be forward-thinking when tackling potential areas of concern. The brand plans to pay particular attention to:
- Investing in responsible gambling education for staff, students and fans
- Ensuring students who wish to bet are of legal age and understand the risks involved
- Adding a philanthropic component to further give back to local communities
Collegiate partnerships with sportsbooks are a gray area nationwide, though PointsBet is taking an active approach towards showing they can become winning situations for everyone involved. Of course, such actions and intentions align with its riverboat sportsbook partnership, too.
PointsBet is the second sportsbook to ink a deal with a Power Five program. The operator is also partnered with the University of Colorado, while Caesars is partnered with LSU and Michigan State University.
Will PointsBet shake up the landscape? Grow it?
Indeed, PointsBet opened its sportsbook at the right time of year. NFL and NCAA football are now underway, and the NBA and NHL seasons begin in October. It’s also the seventh retail sportsbook to open in Maryland — the second in 2022.
Sportsbooks in Maryland
|Sportsbook||Land-based Partner||Retail Launch|
|Barstool Sportsbook||Hollywood Casino, Perryville||December 2021|
|Caesars Sports||Horseshoe Casino, Baltimore||December 2021|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||Live! Casino & Hotel, Maryland||December 2021|
|BetMGM Sportsbook||MGM, National Harbor||December 2021|
|TwinSpires Sportsbook||Ocean Downs Casino||December 2021|
|BetRivers Sportsbook||Bingo World, Baltimore||August 2022|
|PointsBet Sportsbook||Riverboat On The Potomac||September 2022|
The Riverboat on the Potomac is readily accessed in Virginia, where it lives onshore in Colonial Beach. However, the sportsbook operates on the waters of the Potomac River, inside Maryland state lines. It’s also far enough away from the other five sportsbooks that it shouldn’t poach too much traffic from those properties’ loyal patrons.
PointsBet is poised to generate a fair amount of retail business in the remainder of 2022. That additional revenue will likely be a blip on the radar compared to rates after mobile betting’s launch.
Mobile betting on the horizon
Earlier this month, Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) began accepting mobile sportsbook license applications. That window will close on Oct. 21, and the SWARC will spend the following 45 days reviewing applications.
A total of 60 mobile and 30 Class B licenses may be awarded. And although there’s still not an official mobile sportsbook launch date, recent timeframes suggest Maryland could be placing mobile bets before Christmas.
But even if Christmas is somewhat ambitious, the Super Bowl and March Madness should both be locks.