For months, it seemed as though online and mobile betting operators would never enter the Maryland market. Following a lengthy period of debate, discussion, and discontent, regulators in Maryland have finally announced that the application process for Maryland sports betting licenses is officially open. This news makes Maryland one of the hottest contested betting markets in the U.S., especially considering how sought-after and limited these licenses are.
Reportedly, just sixty licenses are available for online operators, and a further thirty licenses are available for retail establishments. Recently, the United States has been on a path of reform, with more states passing laws that open up the potential for betting operators to enter the territory. In recent months, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Louisiana have become the latest states to open their doors to betting markets.
Maryland Goes Mobile
Since 2021, specific casinos in and around Baltimore were permitted to host in-person sports betting practices. This decision came following the results of the 2020 election, when Maryland first approved sports betting activities. There have been many changes since then, and for the last few months, there has been an ongoing debate regarding the opening of mobile betting markets in the state.
For a while, many critics were doubtful that online sports betting markets would launch in Maryland this year. In an article posted by CBS Baltimore, it was stated that ‘mobile sports betting won’t launch in Maryland for months’, and that was published just last month, in August. Now, after a burst of work by a collective of agencies and regulators, the decision to open up the application process has been confirmed.
In a statement, John Martin, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director, said:
‘This is fantastic news. We know sports fans are eager to have mobile wagering, and we also know that it will substantially increase the contributions to education funding, so we’re eager too. We’ve been doing everything we can to have it launch before the end of the year, and now we have a good chance to make that happen.’
There is a tight circling of restrictions and regulations surrounding this deal. Recently, markets that opened up in Massachusetts, Kansas, and even Ontario all boasted similar terms of governance. For instance, retail-based betting facilities cannot be located between 5 – 15 miles of another license holder, depending on the county.
For operators looking to enter the lucrative Maryland market, urgency is the order of the day. It was confirmed that the deadline to apply for a betting license in the state is October 21st, following which a 45-day review period will open up.
So, online betting markets should open up in Maryland before the end of the year, marking another milestone in the U.S. sports betting ecosystem.