Maryland is on pace to start online sports betting by the end of the year, regulators said Thursday.
The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission opted to let online sportsbooks begin taking bets once they’re licensed, as opposed to making them wait to launch together.
October 21st is the deadline to apply for an online sports betting license — which the SWARC has up to 45 days to review. That means Maryland’s first sports betting apps should be live by late November or the first week of December.
Maryland’s sports betting law, approved by voters in 2020, allows up to 60 online sportsbooks as well as in-person betting at retail locations. Retail betting is underway, but a myriad of legislative and regulatory delays have held up the online market.
“We all know the public has been clamoring for sports betting. We get comments on why it hasn’t started every day,” Jim Nielsen, Deputy Director & Chief Operating Officer of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, said Thursday.
SWARC could have opted on Thursday for a universal online betting start date, which states like Ohio are using to ensure a level playing field for all operators.
But doing so would have further delayed the regulatory process that’s held up Maryland’s online sports betting market for nearly two years, Nielsen said.
FanDuel, Caesars, BetMGM, PointsBet, Barstool, Twinspires and BetRivers are already live in Maryland with retail sports betting.
They’ve already undergone much of the extensive background check required of gaming operators and could be among the first apps to launch in Maryland.
Timonium Racetrack, partnered with DraftKings, and FedExField, home of the Washington Commanders, are among a handful of additional locations awaiting retail betting approval.
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