Since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the defacto federal prohibition on sports betting in 2018, numerous states across the country have legalized online sports betting. In fact, our neighbors in Virginia, DC, and Pennsylvania all have legal online sports betting at their fingertips.
In 2020, the citizens of Maryland gave their stamp of approval to a ballot measure that would legalize wagering on sports in the state. Governor Hogan finally signed the bill into law this past May, and now the doors are open for online sports betting to become the norm.
But many questions remain.
When will I be able to bet on sports?
With a set of regulations finalized in July, it looks like Maryland citizens will be able to wager on sports in the Fall of 2021.
There has yet to be an official announcement, but it would make sense that everything is in order during football season, where sportsbooks could maximize their revenue and the government could get more tax dollars.
What Sportbooks will be available?
This is the million-dollar question. In order to even apply for a license, a sportsbook will have to pay $2 million and then will have to pay an additional $6 million for the license itself as well as a 15% tax on gambling-related revenue.
Nonetheless, there’s no doubt that all the top online sportsbooks will be looking to gain approval in the Old Line State.
In such a competitive landscape, sports betting sites are always looking to expand. With a limited number of states offering legal online sports betting, these sites need to expand as much as possible to maximize their player base.
From reading the tea leaves, we expect the following sportsbooks to be available this Fall.
The Australian sportsbook PointsBet has been remarkably ambitious in its US expansion. PointsBet has formed partnerships with numerous former star athletes, including Allen Iverson and Devin Hester, to go along with being the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports. They’ve recently expanded their US footprint to Virginia and West Virginia, so Maryland would be a logical next step.
The product of the well-known MGM brand has already made inroads in Maryland. As the owner of the MGM National Harbor, BetMGM has a land-based partner built in. Additionally, BetMGM is the official sports betting partner of the Baltimore Ravens. This partnership wouldn’t make much sense if they didn’t intend on expanding to Maryland as soon as they possibly could.
With its recent acquisition and rebrand of British betting site William Hill, Caesars Sportsbook is looking to boost its profile. Similar to BetMGM, their parent company owns the Horshoe Casino, making fulfillment of the requirement for a land-based partner an easy hurdle to clear.
FanDuel is already a well-known brand to sports fans around the country. Their daily fantasy offerings have been readily available for years, and are one of the most popular online sportsbooks in the US. They campaigned for the ballot measure that has led us to this point, which would have been a bad investment if they had no plans on sticking around.
The case for DraftKings is very similar to the case for FanDuel. Users are already familiar with their brand, through DFS. They are an extremely well-known brand and the most widely available sports betting sites out there. Like FanDuel, they pumped funds into the campaign for last Fall’s ballot initiative. It makes a lot of sense that DraftKings Sportsbooks would be available to users on day one.