Bringing Maryland online sports betting to the masses was a long process. Despite being legalized back in 2020, the first online bets were not taken until over two years later.
Initially, seven online sportsbooks were awarded licenses from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission. An eighth, Betfred, launched after the initial efforts, and a ninth is on the way.
The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) has approved an application from SuperBook Sports. The operator passed its controlled demonstration with SWARC last week.
What took so long for SuperBook to get to Maryland?
SuperBook Maryland can finally begin the process of launching their Maryland sports betting platform. In doing so, they’ll join a marketplace that includes some of the largest operators in the industry.
“This is the first of the relatively small, mobile sports wagering license applicants,” SWARC Chairman Tom Brandt noted during a February meeting.
The process of being awarded a mobile sports wagering license is a long one. Each operator must pass a controlled demonstration. Many did prior to the November launch of online sports betting in the Old Line State.
“SWARC’s public-interest considerations regarding applicants are limited to the criteria that are within our purview,” Brandt said. “That is, the applicant’s business plan, its ability to generate revenue for the state of Maryland, and its ability to create jobs.”
SuperBook already partnering with the Baltimore Orioles
With its application now approved, SuperBook can move forward in Maryland. The operator has already made inroads in the state thanks to a partnership with the Baltimore Orioles. That deal was agreed to last summer, in hopes SuperBook would obtain a license in short order.
“The Orioles are thrilled to partner with SuperBook to enhance our gameday experience with the introduction of their first-ever on premise sports lounge,” said T.J. Brightman, the Baltimore Orioles Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer. “While our organization is striving to build the next World Series contender in Charm City, we are constantly exploring unique opportunities to engage with Birdland’s diverse fanbase and welcome new visitors to downtown Baltimore. The addition of a SuperBook sportsbook only reinforces our iconic ballpark’s standing as one of the premier entertainment destinations in the region.”
“SuperBook Sports is excited about this partnership with the Baltimore Orioles,” said Kristin Mackey, SuperBook Sports Vice President of Marketing. “The heritage and tradition of the Orioles brand fits perfectly with the SuperBook brand. To be a part of ‘The Ballpark That Forever Changed Baseball’ is an honor, and we look forward to bringing a one of a kind sports lounge experience to fans. The future of the Orioles is bright, and we look forward to continuing to grow together for years to come.”
Maryland sportsbooks enjoying growth and record-setting months
SuperBook joins some of the industry’s heaviest hitters. FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Caesars were four of the seven sportsbooks to launch online sports betting as soon as possible. That launch came nearly a year after the arrival of retail sports betting, in December of 2021.
March of 2023 saw several major records fall. Maryland residents were able to bet on March Madness games online for the first time, which resulted in handle of nearly $386 million.
“There are a few events on the calendar that really drive sports wagering participation, and the NCAA basketball tournament every March is right at the top of that list,” Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin said in a press release. “This was the first time that mobile wagering on March Madness was available in Maryland, and as our market continues to mature, we’re pleased to see it generate a strong contribution to education funding.”
In addition to online sportsbooks, five brick-and-mortar facilities offer in-person betting opportunities. That list includes both MGM National Harbor and Live! Casino and Hotel, two of the biggest Maryland casinos.