From 2-10 pm on Nov. 21, several sports betting operators went live in a soft launch of Maryland online sports betting. This soft launch came two days before the official launch date of Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 9 a.m.
During this trial time period, residents had their first opportunity to try Maryland online sports betting — a market lawmakers and regulators have labored to pass for over two years.
Maryland’s biggest online sports betting brands
During a Nov. 16 meeting, the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) authorized ten operators to go live at launch. Seven of those 10 debuted during the Nov. 23 launch, while three will not be ready until 2023. The ten operators green-lighted so far are:
- Caesars Sportsbook
- Barstool Sportsbook
- Fanatics Sportsbook (not launching until 2023)
- BetPARX (not launching until 2023)
- Betfred (not launching until 2023)
Most operators, including FanDuel, Caesars and BetRivers, participated in Monday’s soft launch. This soft launch, or “controlled demonstration,” to use SWARC’s language, gave bettors the opportunity to place bets and gave operators the chance to test their apps.
After 10 pm EST that Monday, all participating operators stopped taking bets while regulators spent Tuesday conducting an audit on the system and troubleshooting any problems.
Then, on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 9 a.m., all seven approved operators officially went live.
Managing a confusing soft launch period
During the soft launch, operators like Caesars and FanDuel will open their mobile apps to Maryland residents, offering them thousands of dollars in free bets and other promos for setting up and placing their first bets in the Old Line State.
Events available for betting
All markets were open on Monday. For example, you could take advantage of Caesars’ $100 free bet on sign-up to make your first World Cup wager. That bet didn’t need to be placed on a game taking place during the soft launch window. However, bettors only had that time slot to place the bet before the offer expired.
In the case of the Monday Night Football game, bettors could even place live bets throughout the game all the way up to 10 p.m. ET, at which point all betting — including live betting — stopped.
When can you cash out?
After the soft launch window closed, all betting markets shut down, but players can still cash out any winnings they made. So, if you bet on the Monday Night Football game, which ended after the soft launch closed, and you won, you can still collect your winnings and access your account.
What if I forgot to use my promo offer during the soft launch?
If you signed up with FanDuel with the intention of taking them up on their Bet $5 Get $200 in free bets but forgot to place your bet on the Wizards during the soft launch window, that free bet money would sadly expire.
If you missed the soft launch, you didn’t miss out
Even if you missed the soft launch window, each Maryland operator still has promo offers available to Marylanders after launch. Subsequent soft launches will occur for each newly licensed Maryland sportsbook app before it officially launches.
Check in with PlayMaryland throughout the sports betting launch to get more up-to-the-minute information about how the rollout is progressing. We’ll be talking with bettors in the state, inquiring about individual apps, and sharing all the information you’ll need to get started in online sports betting.