Mobile sports betting licenses were granted to Bally’s and WynnBET today, Dec. 14, in a meeting of the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission. This brings the number of Maryland online sports betting operators to 11. Online sports betting launched on Nov. 23.
No date has been set yet for Bally’s and WynnBET to enter the Maryland online sports betting market. In Wednesday’s meeting, the state also awarded a sports wagering facility license to Long Shot’s Hagerstown, which will operate a retail sportsbook in partnership with BetFred.
Earlier this week, the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency announced that the online sports betting handle for November was in excess of $186 million in only nine days of operation. Combined with retail sports betting in November, that led to more than $219 million in sports bet accepted in the state, making it a big success in a short period of time.
Both Bally’s and WynnBET were qualified for sports betting by SWARC on Dec. 1. As we previously reported, both sportsbooks will be required to complete controlled demonstrations and satisfy regulatory and operational requirements before entering the Maryland sports betting market. Since these are the first two mobile licenses granted after the state has had operational sports betting, there is no precedent for a timeline for such a process.
WynnBET is operational in nine other states, including Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, and Virginia. Bally’s mobile sportsbook (titled Bally Bet) is live in six states: Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, New York, and Virginia.
A handful of other operators that received licenses in November include BetFred, Parx Interactive, and Fanatics, none of which has launched yet. SWARC and the MLGC may award as many as 60 mobile sports wagering licenses.
FanDuel, DraftKings Lead the Way in Maryland Online Sports Betting
According to data released by the MLGCC earlier this week, online sportsbooks had a wildly successful first week and a half in Maryland. FanDuel and DraftKings were the leaders in total handle in the Old Line State from Nov. 21, when a controlled demonstration took place, through Nov. 30.
- FanDuel Maryland: $89.9 million
- DraftKings Maryland: $69.9 million
- BetMGM Maryland: $15.0 million
- Barstool Maryland: $5.7 million
- Caesars Maryland: $3.4 million
- PointsBet Maryland: $1.6 million
- BetRivers Maryland: $631,000
Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin pointed to a “tremendous pent-up demand” as a reason for the tremendous totals for only nine days in November. Maryland passed legislation legalizing online sports betting in November 2021, and after more than a year, sports fans in the state, known for their avid support of the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, and college sports, have proven that they can sustain a healthy market.
Sports betting operators are utilizing marketing techniques known as “promotional play” to entice customers in Maryland. According to figures released by the state, more than $63 million of the $186 million in online sports betting in November was a direct result of free bets, welcome bonuses, or deposit match funds.
Maryland Online Sports Betting Launch Outperforms Virginia
After waiting more than a year to be able to place legal wagers with sportsbooks in Maryland, sports fans were anxious to hop on the best odds to bet on the Baltimore Ravens, college football, and much more.
Data from GeoComply, a geolocation service, indicated that Maryland online sportsbooks attracted 477,365 unique users from Nov. 23-27. Many of those users, who placed an estimated 16.5 million transactions according to GeoComply, took advantage of lucrative welcome bonuses that handed out free bets, or risk-free betting offers.
By comparison, when Virginia launched its sports betting market, the days following produced 291,584 unique users and 8.5 million transactions. Maryland’s launch is proving to be one of the most successful in the U.S., which has seen 30 states legalize sports betting since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down PASPA in 2018.