Online Maryland sports betting is still a ways off, but two more retail sportsbooks are on their way.
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission qualified two sports wagering facility licenses at its meeting Wednesday, including one for the Washington Commanders’ FedEx Field. There are six retail sportsbooks open for MD sports betting, with another five in the pipeline.
The two qualified facility licenses head to the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission, which can award the licenses. The SWARC meets again August 17.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the MLGCC also qualified Betfred for a sports wagering facility operator license, which does not need SWARC approval.
Maryland still waiting for online sports betting
The SWARC’s main task is developing the rules for mobile sports betting in Maryland. Despite pressure from Gov. Larry Hogan, the SWARC is 12 months into its process with no online launch date set.
Maryland voters approved sports betting in 2020 and Hogan signed enacting legislation in spring 2021. Hogan sent a letter to the SWARC this summer pushing for an online launch by Sept. 8 to capture NFL betting.
SWARC members approved draft regulations and applications at its July meeting. Those drafts are now waiting for legislative review commission approval.
Maryland retail sportsbooks coming along
The first five Maryland retail sportsbooks opened in December 2021. Bingo World opened a BetRivers Sportsbook as the sixth MD retail sportsbook August 1.
Along with FedEx Field, the MLGCC found Chesapeake Gaming qualified for a retail sportsbook license. With the two facilities advanced, the MLGCC has found that 11 of the 17 entities designated in MD sports betting legislation are qualified.
The Betfred license goes with the retail facility license awarded to Long Shot’s, which is waiting for final approval from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. Two other facilities are also waiting for the final MLGCA signature: Greenmount Station and Riverboat on the Potomac.
Snyder makes MLGCC meeting appearance
Despite recent legal troubles surrounding Commanders owner Dan Snyder, who is the only name on the application, the MLGCA found the licensee qualified for sports betting operations and recommended the action to commissioners. The Commanders practice in Virginia and are partnered with FanDuel for VA sports betting.
Snyder spoke briefly to the MLGCC over the phone but did not address the legal issues, nor anything specific to a sportsbook. Snyder told commissioners the stadium has been “dramatically upgraded” and that he expects an attendance surge because the team now has a quarterback: Carson Wentz.
“We’re very, very optimistic on the season,” Snyder said. “We finally have ourselves a quarterback.”
In June, the Washington Business Journal reported Fanatics is partnering with the Commanders for the sportsbook at FedEx Field. The MLGCC also found Fanatics qualified for a facility operator license in June, a big month for the company’s future in sports betting.
Other Maryland stadiums not in process yet
The stadiums for the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Ravens are also named in MD sports betting legislation. Neither entity has reached the MLGCC with an application.
The Ravens have multiple gaming partnerships:
- BetMGM – official gaming partner
- Caesars – premier sports betting partner
- DraftKings – official DFS and sports betting partner
- Horseshoe Casino – official casino partner
The Orioles have not entered a sports betting partnership.
Maryland sports betting retail handle steady
The six retail sportsbooks took $15.5 million in July bets. The sportsbooks held 13.1% for a little more than $2 million in revenue.
The FanDuel Sportsbook at Live! Casino led the way with $6.2 million in wagers.
Bingo World reported its two official test runs in the July MLGCA revenue report released Wednesday.