Online sports betting in Maryland may be available even sooner than initially thought after state gaming regulators held a licensing meeting this week.
According to recent announcements, the first MD sports betting apps will be available a day before Thanksgiving, Wednesday, Nov. 23.
Maryland sportsbook apps could be live by Thanksgiving
Maryland Lottery and Gaming issued a press release Monday with the header “Mobile Sports Wagering Launch Possible in Time For Thanksgiving.” The release noted the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission’s (SWARC) intention to meet Wednesday, Nov. 16, five days earlier than a previously scheduled licensing meeting.
SWARC approved 10 online sportsbook licenses during the meeting. Maryland Lottery and Gaming officials have since identified a launch date of Nov. 23 and will now conduct a controlled demonstration of each operator.
Earlier this week, Gov. Larry Hogan released a statement noting his cautious optimism about this launch date occurring sooner rather than later:
“To reach this point, we have had to overcome countless legal, political, and bureaucratic delays that threatened to push back the launch past the Super Bowl next year. It was completely unacceptable to me, and we spent months pressing for decisive action. Thanks to those efforts, and after repeated interventions by our administration, we now anticipate the launch of mobile sports betting this month, and we are cautiously optimistic that it will be in time for Thanksgiving.”
According to Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin, more than a handful of Maryland online sportsbooks could very well be live for the NFL’s trio of Turkey Day matchups. The launch should also come in the early stages of the World Cup, which begins Sunday.
Martin said in the latest release:
“Our staff has been in continuous contact with these mobile sports wagering businesses, and has already guided them through many of the necessary steps. The last hurdle is for them to have controlled demonstrations, and SWARC’s awards of licenses on Wednesday would clear the way for that to happen.”
Sportsbooks gear up for online launch
Maryland’s sportsbook applicants are eagerly awaiting approval. Meanwhile, multiple operators are already giving away Maryland sportsbook promos ahead of launch.
The potential online sportsbooks expected to receive licenses this week are:
State law allows for as many as 60 mobile licenses. Regulators have also said they will consider license applications on a rolling basis going forward.
MD online sports betting could be top-15 in U.S.
Online sports gambling in Maryland is projected to produce billions of dollars in legal bets and millions of dollars for state coffers.
According to PlayMaryland forecasting, the online market could see nearly $4 billion in handle (amount wagered) over the first 12 months.
Based on those numbers, operators could generate over $480 million in revenue and the state would collect almost $75 million in taxes.
The Old Line State would be among the top 15 online sports betting markets in the U.S., if the estimates hold up.
Marylanders began placing in-person sports bets in December 2021. Voters approved legalizing retail and mobile sports gambling in November 2020.