Mobile sports betting goes live in Maryland on Wednesday

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) with John Martin, director of the State Lottery & Gaming Control Agency, at a news conference at the State House on Tuesday. Photo by Bruce DePuyt.

The era of mobile sports gaming in Maryland begins Wednesday. As of 9 a.m., Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Tuesday gamers will have a choice of seven mobile apps — a field that includes several industry leaders already active in dozens of other states.

Marylanders have been able to legally place bets on sporting events at casinos and other venues for almost a year. But Wednesday will mark a breakthrough for an activity that has long existed in the shadows.

Instead of phoning a local bookmaker or placing a bet on an offshore site – with few, if any, consumer protection measures – bettors need only whip out their mobile device and open their favorite app any time of the day or night from Wednesday.

“This process has taken longer than it should have, but we’re pleased that this launch is timely for fans to place their bets on all of the NFL action on Thanksgiving Day, college football rivalry weekend, the roster of NBA games this week and the 2022 World Cup and this Sunday’s Ravens and Commanders games,” Hogan said.

The Maryland Sportsbook Applications and Review Commission cleared 10 operators at its meeting last week, but only seven completed the final tests and performance hurdles needed to be ready on day one.

The seven are:

  • Barstool Sportsbook (Operator for PENN Maryland/Hollywood Casino)
  • BetMGM (Operator for BetMGM Maryland Sports/MGM National Harbor)
  • BetRivers (operators of Arundel Amusements/Bingo World in Brooklyn Park)
  • Caesars Sportsbook (Operator of CZR Maryland Mobile Opportunity/Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore)
  • DraftKings (Operator of Crown MD Online Gaming)
  • FanDuel (operator for PPE Maryland Mobile/Live! Casino and Hotel in Hanover)
  • PointsBet (Riverboat Operator on the Potomac in Charles County)
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The three expected to get the final all-clear in the coming days are: BetFred (long shots operator in Frederick); BetParx (operator of Greenmount Station in Hampstead); and Fanatics (operator for Maryland Stadium Sub/Washington Commanders in Landover).

The launch of mobile sportsbook is sure to trigger an avalanche of marketing and advertising as sportsbook competes to be one of the first apps to be downloaded by individual bettors. Many of the well-funded companies offer great incentives, including bets that are rated “risk-free,” to increase their customer base.

Applications from 11 other mobile bookmakers are currently under review, said John Martin, director of the State Lottery & Gaming Control Agency. He expects Maryland will eventually have 21 mobile licensees and between 15 and 20 betting facilities.

Corporate profits from mobile sports betting are taxed at 15%. Individual gains are subject to the same tax liability as more traditional income.

Hogan said mobile betting is expected to bring in up to $30 million in 2023 and will grow to $100 million by 2027. Proceeds reaching the state treasury will fund the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future educational program.

All Maryland-approved apps will use geo-fencing to exclude people who are outside of the state’s geographic boundaries. Beyond that there are no restrictions. For example, a bettor watching matches at an operator’s sportsbook would be free to place a bet on a competitor’s platform.

Although Hogan placed bets at a handful of casinos on the day that sports betting was launched in 2021, he didn’t place an online bet on Tuesday.

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While the major league sports attract the most interest, bettors have a dizzying array of competitions to tempt their destiny in – including the Olympics, beach volleyball, table tennis, snooker, rodeo, darts, jai-alai and dozens of other options . Betting on sports monitored by Russian and Belarusian authorities is not allowed.