Maryland sets date for long-awaited mobile sports betting launch

Published 11/17/2022 12:36 p.m. EST, Updated 11/17/2022 3:59 p.m. EST

A hand hold a mobile phone with four sports betting apps displayed.

Gamblers who wish to use their phones to bet on sports in Maryland can mark their calendars for Wednesday.

Seven of the 10 companies picked to offer mobile sports gambling are going to be ready to launch their apps on Wednesday, according to John A. Martin, director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

“We will launch on Wednesday, Nov. 23,” Martin said during a public meeting on Thursday morning. “The time is still to be determined.”

Just one day earlier, a state licensing commission approved licenses for 10 companies to offer mobile sports betting apps in Maryland. Those companies must complete some final reports and paperwork and pass a controlled demonstration overseen by regulators. Once that happens, the licenses are issued and they can start accepting bets.

Martin said that by early next week, he’ll be able to announce the time the apps can launch.

The seven companies that indicated they’ll be able to get the final steps done for next week include:

  • Bingo World in Brooklyn Park (under the name Arundel Amusements). The app will operate under the name BetRivers.
  • BetMGM Maryland Sports.
  • DraftKings (under the name Crown MD Online Gaming).
  • Caesars Entertainment/Horseshoe Casino Baltimore (under the name CZR Maryland Mobile Opportunity).
  • Hollywood Casino Perryville (under the name PENN Maryland OSB). Parent company PENN Entertainment owns the Barstool Sportsbook.
  • Live! Casino and Hotel in Hanover (under the name PPE Maryland Mobile). FanDuel will operate the app.
  • Riverboat on the Potomac in Charles County. PointsBet will operate the app.

Three companies picked for licenses said they will launch later:

  • Greenmount Off Track Betting in Hampstead. The app will operate under the name betPARX.
  • Long Shot’s in Frederick. Betfred will operate the app.
  • Washington Commanders football team (under the name Maryland Stadium Sub). Fanatics will operate the app.

The launch of mobile sports gambling has been highly anticipated, as Maryland lagged behind other states in expanding its gambling industry.

Voters here approved sports betting during the 2020 election. In-person betting, however, was not offered in Maryland until December 2021.

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The licensing commission has been deliberate in their process, members say, so they can comply with the complicated sports betting law and ensure participation in the industry by minority- and women-owned businesses.

State law allows for up to 60 mobile betting apps in the state, and 21 companies applied this fall. The first 10 companies were approved for licenses this week.

Eight facilities currently offer in-person sports betting: five casinos, Bingo World, Riverboat on the Potomac and Greenmount Off Track Betting.

Gamblers spent $39.66 million on sports bets in Maryland in October, and sportsbooks paid out $34.35 million in winnings.

The state keeps 15% of the taxable win, which came out to $781,642 in October. Most of that is earmarked to fund enhanced programs for public schools through the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund. A portion also goes to the state’s Problem Gambling Fund.

The education fund has received at least $5.42 million since the launch of sports gambling in December 2021, while the gambling fund has received at least $885,195.