Posted on: November 23, 2022, 01:18h.
Last updated on: November 23, 2022, 02:46h.
Maryland online sports betting is finally live more than two years after state voters authorized such gambling.
This morning at 9 am EST, seven online sportsbooks in Maryland began taking real money bets. People aged 21 and older inside the state can access and facilitate a college or professional sports bet by patronizing one of the seven platforms.
The books that began online operations this morning include Barstool, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet. Betfred, BetPARX, and Fanatics plan to launch online in the coming days.
Outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who supported legalizing sports betting so long as the associated tax revenue goes towards supporting public education, championed the debut of online sports wagers.
In addition to allowing Marylanders to bet on the NFL, March Madness, and so much more, sports betting will provide critical revenue for Maryland schools,” Hogan said in a statement.
State legislative fiscal projections estimate that retail and online sports betting revenue will benefit the state’s Education Trust Fund (ETF) by more than $30 million annually. Gross income from online and in-person sports betting will be subject to a 15% state tax.
Today I was proud to announce the formal launch of online sports betting in the State of Maryland. Beginning tomorrow morning—Wednesday, November 23 at 9 A.M.—seven different sportsbooks will go live.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) November 22, 2022
Caesars Sportsbook told Casino.org this morning that its first online bet in Maryland was a $5 World Cup live moneyline wager on Germany in its game against Japan. The bet, which would have netted just 63 cents, lost after Japan pulled off the shocking upset with two goals in the final minutes of the match.
First Bets Insured
It’s a bettor’s paradise in Maryland, as each online book is catering to new customers with a slew of sign-up promotions.
Caesars says new bettors in Maryland who risk a first wager of between $20 to $100 will receive a $100 credit. For first bets above $100, the new account will be credited in the amount of the initial wager should it lose.
BetMGM is offering all new players a risk-free first bet up to $1,000, while FanDuel and DraftKings are crediting new accounts in Maryland with $200 after a $5 bet is placed.
PointsBet says new registrations will be afforded five $100 risk-free wagers. For more offers, click here.
State Officials Recognize Delay
Marylanders missed out on betting legally online in 2021 despite telling state lawmakers they wanted to allow such gambling a year prior. The prohibition lingered throughout much of 2022 until mobile sportsbooks launched today.
The lengthy holdup was because of the language state lawmakers included in its sports betting bill, which Hogan signed into law in May 2021. While retail sports betting commenced just months after the Republican governor signed the gaming bill, the legislation required that the state undergo a review to determine how online sports betting licenses might include minorities and women in the forthcoming industry.
Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) hired a third-party gaming consultancy to conduct a so-called “disparity analysis.” But the time-consuming probe resulted in frustration among legislative leaders and the governor himself.
With the legislature’s blessing, SWARC eventually decided to forego the disparity analysis in favor of requiring each online sportsbook licensee to pledge that it will do its best to assemble a diverse workforce and ownership structure.
“Marylanders have been waiting long enough,” acknowledged Hogan. “This process took longer than it should have. But we’re excited that this launch is in time for fans to place their bets on the Thanksgiving NFL action.”