- Maryland hoping to open its doors to legal sports betting by the beginning of football season
- 60 mobile sportsbooks will be live in the state once the industry has reached full capacity
- Pro sports venues around the state will be given the chance to open their own sportsbooks
Last week, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission met and formally approved the final rules and regulations for the state’s soon-to-open sports betting industry. As a result, operators planning to begin doing business in the state have been given the green light to move forward with their plans.
Retail and mobile sportsbooks will be allowed to open for business in Maryland in the near future. As is the case with many states, those within the industry are hoping to have sports betting up and running by the time pro and college football gets underway later in the summer. The 2021 NFL season is slated to begin in early September. Football is the most popular betting sport in the US, so opening the industry in time to take advantage is of the utmost importance.
Plenty Of Opportunities For Operators
The state’s gaming commission is expected to begin accepting licensing applications from interested operators just over a month from now. A number of big-name brands are expected to join the race for a license, with DraftKings, PointsBet, FanDuel, and BetMGM among the operators jockeying for position. Once the market is fully operational, as many as 60 mobile sportsbooks will be allowed to open their doors in Maryland.
Professional sports teams will have the opportunity to purchase licenses and open sportsbooks at their stadiums, while as many as 30 licenses will be handed out to small businesses around the state. The gaming commission will be tasked with vetting each applicant in order to make sure they meet the criteria for legally operating a sports betting business. The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission will be in charge of issuing official operating licenses.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, FedEx Field, and big casinos around the state may be given priority when it comes to securing sports betting licenses. State regulators have already said that as many as 17 land-based facilities around the state should be given preference by the Gaming Control Agency.
Maryland state law requires that any operator must use a sports league’s official data feed for every legal wager placed in the state. While the official fee for each license has not yet been disclosed, though the cost of a license could prove to be prohibitive for some that may have interest in applying.
Bettors looking to place legal sports bets via a mobile device will have two options when it comes to registering at a sportsbook. A user can register in-person at a retail property of the mobile sports betting license-holder has a retail sports betting license. Or, bettors will be allowed to register online through a mobile app or website as long as the operator has been approved by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.
More than 20 states, as well as neighboring Washington DC, have already legalized and opened their doors to legal sports betting. The number of states with legalized betting has exploded since the US Supreme Court struck down the federal sports betting ban back in May of 2018. New Jersey, which filed the lawsuit that led to the elimination of the ban, has quickly become one of the biggest sports betting hubs in the country in the three years since.