By Tyler Wombles
In-person sports betting is legal in Maryland, but for those who prefer gambling remotely, that option may not be available for a while. We’ve been tracking when Maryland sports betting apps will launch.
While in-state bettors hope Maryland online sports betting will launch soon, it’s currently unclear exactly when that will happen. Officials have a long list of things to do before mobile betting can officially go live in the state.
As regulators check off their to-do list, sports bettors await the answer to the main question: when will Maryland sports betting apps launch?
Multiple hurdles before launch
There are multiple steps officials must take before mobile sports betting can launch in Maryland.
Maryland betting officials feel “it would be nice to aim for football season of 2022, September,” in launching mobile sports gambling, John Martin, director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, told WTOP in December.
“Regulations haven’t been written yet,” Martin said then, according to WTOP. “Application processes haven’t been identified yet. Applications then have to come in, then be reviewed, then we go through our normal vetting and qualification process. So yeah, it’s going to take several months.”
With retail sportsbooks just recently launched, meaning officials still have to work out kinks and make sure everything is steady on that end, and all of the hoops and hurdles necessary to institute mobile betting, it’s hard to set an accurate timetable for when online gambling could become available in Maryland.
In Louisiana, which launched mobile sports betting on Jan. 28, it took months from when the market was legalized in the state to when it actually became active, as officials had to set up parameters, approve platforms and otherwise ensure everything was correct before launch. From the looks of things right now, Maryland’s own situation could take just as long.
Which apps could come to Maryland?
When mobile sports betting finally does launch in Maryland, there should be plenty of top platforms for residents to choose from.
While an official list of platforms that will come to Maryland when mobile betting launches has not yet been announced, several are expected because of their relationships with physical gambling venues already in place.
BetMGM, one of the world’s most noted betting companies, is partnered with MGM National Harbor, a casino already established in Maryland, and FanDuel Sportsbook is partnered with Maryland Live! Casino and Hotel, another in-state casino.
Caesars Sportsbook is associated with Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, PointsBet has a partnership with Riverboat on the Potomac and Barstool Sportsbook is partnered with Hollywood Casino Perryville.
Each of those five already have retail sportsbooks available, so it would only make sense for them to launch their respective apps in Maryland once they’re able. After all, each of those companies want to provide as many avenues as possible for bettors to put money down.
Bringing in each of those apps would be a big win for the Maryland betting industry, as BetMGM, Caesars and FanDuel in particular are some of the most well-known platforms around.
What is there to gain from launching mobile betting?
Maryland bettors have proven they will put money down when given the chance.
There’s certainly a market for sports betting in Maryland. In the industry’s first full month in the state, bettors wagered more than $32 million at Maryland sportsbooks, WJZ reported, citing a Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency report. In-state betting operators reportedly made a $4,375,316 profit.
“Speaking with the casino operators, they are very excited and encouraged with the buzz in their buildings on game days, so it means for them that people are going into the facilities and staying and enjoying products at those properties,” Maryland Lottery and Gaming’s Martin told WMDT.
“One of the advantages at all the properties from increased foot traffic is it keeps the money local,” he added, according to WMDT.
If bettors are able to wager wherever they want instead of having to visit a physical sportsbook location, it’s fair to assume betting revenues would greatly increase.
Other states, including New York, Tennessee and Arizona, have already launched mobile betting. And the industry has been more than successful across the country with sports fans eager to pull out their phones and fill out their bet slip.
In New York, bettors wagered $1.6 billion through mobile apps in January, Forbes reported, citing a New York Gaming Commission report. The state was estimated to bring in nearly $58 million in tax revenue through mobile betting for that month, according to Forbes.