Sports betting in Maryland continues to inch closer to a launch date, and the state continues to issue more sports betting licenses. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission is in charge of issuing licenses, and there have been a number of applications submitted.
Two more potential sportsbooks were identified last week as the Riverboat on the Potomac, and Long Shot’s both had things in place to receive approval. The official license will come from the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission, and that could happen in the next few weeks.
Both of these companies were included in a group of 17 that were granted the ability to apply for a sports betting license. Retail sports betting can be conducted at each site, but these won’t become the largest sports betting options in the state.
Maryland is expected to have an extremely competitive sports betting industry as a large group of companies can receive a license. Online sports betting is also approved in Maryland, but retail betting is expected to launch first.
Launch Dates Coming Soon
The first set of sports betting licenses were issued on November 18, and there were five operators that were granted a license. MGM National Harbor and Live! Casino & Hotel were two of those locations, and both should become premier retail sports betting locations.
Before a final launch date is set, each of the approved facilities must offer a soft launch that allows bettors from the state to attend. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission will be present for that and will decide if each company can move forward.
If the soft launch goes well for the retail sportsbooks, then the next step will be to open up the doors completely. This will likely be a staggered launch date as each operation is at a different step in the process.
Cashing in on NFL?
There is a chance that retail sports betting in Maryland could launch at some point before the end of 2021. The biggest reason that sportsbooks want to go live as soon as possible is to cash in on the NFL and the huge amount of action and revenue that the sport provides.
NFL betting is the biggest market in the U.S., and it would allow sportsbooks in Maryland to get off to a great start.
U.S. Sports Betting Still Growing
When Maryland is finally able to launch legal sports betting, it will add to the long list of states with this iGaming option. Legal sports betting officially took off in 2018, and the U.S. has seen unprecedented growth since that time.
Records continue to fall in a number of states, and the total sports betting handle for the country could soon reach the $6 billion mark in one month. New Jersey and Nevada have now both gone over the $1 billion mark in monthly handle.
It is going to take Maryland sometime before it becomes a large market, but it should quickly become a leader on the East Coast in the U.S.