By Tyler Wombles
With retail sports betting up and running in Maryland, and online betting expected to launch at some point, bettors new to the scene are likely wondering if they can put money down on college sports as well as the pros.
The answer is a positive one: yes, betting on college sports is legal in Maryland. So once online betting launches in Maryland, residents will have the same opportunities to bet on college sports as bettors in some other states, like in Arizona with the DraftKings Promo Code Arizona.
College sports wagers could boost Maryland online betting
College sports betting would be another bonus to an expected Maryland online gambling scene that could thrive after the state’s launch of retail sports betting.
Though online betting isn’t yet live in Maryland, retail betting has drawn players. Sportsbooks are active at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland in Hanover, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, Hollywood Casino Perryville and Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin.
And Maryland bettors are having an especially good time, as it appears they are bringing home their fair share of winnings.
According to WTOP, which cited the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency, bettors in February wagered $25.5 million at Maryland’s first five sportsbooks and won nearly $24.6 million.
College sports betting would be a huge draw for the state’s online gambling scene, as not every state that has legalized sports betting has also allowed wagers on college athletics. For example, New Jersey doesn’t allow college sports betting on games in the state or in-state teams, while New York prohibits betting on in-state teams, but allows wagering on games that take place in the state.
On the other hand, some schools have so embraced the industry that they’ve even signed partnership deals with betting powers; the latest was Michigan State, which announced in January that Caesars Sportsbook is now the school’s official sports betting and iGaming partner.
“Michigan State has a proud tradition of excellence and partnering with an internationally recognized brand in college athletics is a great opportunity for us,” Eric Hession, Co-President of Caesars Digital, said in a release.
“The Spartan fan base and alumni network is passionate and well-established across the country. We look forward to building upon our connection with them while strengthening the legacy we hold in the state of Michigan and advancing scholarship opportunities through this partnership.”
“The opportunity to partner with Caesars, a leading force in the sports and entertainment industry, will help enhance game day experiences for Spartan fans and provide significant resources to support the growing needs of each of our varsity programs,” Alan Haller, Michigan State Vice President and Director of Athletics, added in the release.
“We are excited to be on the cutting edge of this innovative opportunity, while recognizing the importance of Caesars’ commitment to responsible sports gaming education both for the student-athletes and the University community as a whole.”
Arizona an example of college sports betting market
Once online sports betting launches in Maryland, the state will be in the same position as Arizona, which boasts a growing sports betting industry including both retail and mobile gambling.
According to The Associated Press, Arizona bettors put down $564 million in January alone, and most of that came from online betting apps, which has been the case in many other states that have launched both online and retail betting.
Unlike in some other states, Arizona bettors are able to bet on college teams like in-state schools Arizona and Arizona State, meaning fans of those programs have the option to put money down on their teams.
The gambling scene in Arizona is even currently in the middle of an interesting situation, as the Arizona Coyotes are pushing for a change in sports betting legislation that will let them keep offering betting when they relocate arenas to Arizona State University. Since they are moving to an arena that seats less than 10,000 people, it would conflict with the law, which requires at least that number, the AP reported.
“That was a compromise by the (Native American) tribes and as well as the professional leagues and teams, and to go back and change that understanding, especially less than a year later, for something that is really self-created … shouldn’t land at this body to address,” attorney Bradley Bledsoe Downes said to the Arizona Senate’s appropriations committee, according to the news outlet.
It’s an example of the logistics and situations local governments, professional sports teams and even college programs have to work through in order to successfully host sports betting in their respective areas, and the same will be true for Maryland, just like the potential massive payout of sports betting, including on college sports.