Maryland Mobile Sportsbooks Complete Boffo Debut

Maryland bettors stepped to the plate for the opening of mobile sports betting and produced the kind of results anyone would envy. The state had 16.5 million transactions, almost double that of Virginia.

Results are in for the first week of online sports betting in Maryland. Based on those results, the state flourished. According to GeoComply, a geolocation and fraud specialist company, Maryland online sports betting experienced 16.5 million geolocation transactions from November 23 through 27. Such transactions reflect how well the state did.

During the same time frame Virginia experienced 8.5 million geolocation transactions, Indiana reported 6.7 million, Tennessee 6.6 million, and Colorado 3.8 million. The gold standard, New Jersey had 17.1 hits, according to Saturday Down South.

“A strong start for the regulated market delivers on the promise of new revenues and consumer protections. Marylanders will continue to ditch illegal offshore sportsbooks for the security of legal, regulated operators that provide player safeguards and tax dollars for the state, just as lawmakers intended,” GeoComply Senior Vice President of Compliance Lindsay Slader said in a release.

GeoComply reported Maryland sports bettors have registered 477,365 unique sports betting accounts in the state. On Thanksgiving, alone, 3.7 million geolocation transactions were reported.

Seven operators fully launched their sports betting services on November 23. The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) approved 10 operators for online sports betting licenses.

These seven operators all launched last week.

Barstool Sportsbook


Caesars Sportsbook




Rush Street Interactive

BetFanatics, BetFred, and Parx Interactive were also approved by SWARC for online sports betting licenses but were not ready to launch.

Barstool Sportsbook will operate online sports betting for the Hollywood Casino in Perryville; BetFred will operate betting for OTB parlor Long Shots; BetMGM will operate betting for MGM National Harbor Casino; Caesars Sportsbook will operate betting for Horseshoe Baltimore Casino; DraftKings will operate for the Maryland State Fairgrounds; FanDuel will manage at the Maryland Live! casino; Parx Interactive will use Greenmount OTB; PointsBet will operate betting for Riverboat on the Potomac; and Rush Street Interactive will operate betting for Bingo World.

Spectrum Gaming Group predicted the state would take in $123.3 million in gross gaming revenue in its initial year, producing $26.4 million in taxes. By year five, gross gaming revenue will eclipse $542 million with almost $100 million paid in taxes, Spectrum project

“This process took longer than it should have, but we are excited that this launch is in time for fans to place their bets on all the Thanksgiving Day NFL action, college football rivalry weekend, this week’s slate of NBA games, the 2022 World Cup, and this Sunday’s Ravens and Commanders games,” said Governor Larry Hogan.

In-person sports betting debuted in December 2021. Online wagers ran into a roadblock of “numerous legal, political, and bureaucratic delays,” he said.

In addition to the growing number of games to bet on, Marylanders keep betting dollars in the state, revenue headed into school coffers, Hogan told Maryland News. “It is anticipated to bring in up to $30 million in revenue next year, and that total is expected to reach nearly $100 million by 2027,” he said.

Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission granted approval for 10 licenses, but only seven were ready to accept wagers.

John Martin, director of the Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency said sometime in 2023, the state hopes to have 21 sportsbooks in operation, according to WBAL TV. “We anticipate that in late spring, early summer of 2023, prior to the kickoff of the next football season, the Maryland market will include up to 21 mobile entities and between 15 and 20 facility licenses,” he said.

The seven ready to roll sportsbooks did a soft launch earlier in the week.

“We made sure that the platforms operated correctly, and procedures worked,” Martin said.

The three who delayed their debut included: Betfred, operator for Long Shot’s in Frederick; BetParx, operator for Greenmount Station in Hampstead; and Fanatics, operator for Maryland Stadium Sub/Washington Commanders in Landover.

With the opening of the mobile market comes a probable blitz in marketing and advertising dollars in a race for customers. Most will offer several hundred dollars in free play to cover initial losses.

While many Marylanders celebrate, for others it brings concerns about the impact on problem gamblers.

“There may be an increased rate and severity of gambling problems in Maryland, at least in the short term,” said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling.

The issue with mobile wagering is that there are fewer available controls as the bets are made often in the private comfort of someone’s dwelling.

The Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling offers resources for those with gambling problems, according to Sports Handle.

“Our goal really is to promote healthy and informed choices regarding gambling and problem gambling,” said Mary Drexler, director of the center, a program affiliated with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and funded by the state Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Administration.

As results flow in, the Center plans to observe not only the state of the industry in general but how mobile access affects gambling problems.

“We are watching it very closely because we expect, we’re not sure because we haven’t seen it yet, but there may be an increase in those people who call for help,” Drexler said.

There’s a 24-hour helpline (1-800-GAMBLER) available for those who think they may have a problem. Calls will be transferred to counselors and peer recovery specialists. The latter have a less formal approach to dealing with gamblers.

Another site,, offers resources and tips on a national plane, pushing healthy gambling habits.

Whyte raised a red flag regarding a partnership between the University of Maryland and PointsBet. The deal, signed in December 2021, was the first sports betting relationship in the Big Ten.

“When you look at people that are at high risk for gambling problems, young male college students are at the top of that list,” Whyte said.

It’s not the only such arrangement in the U.S. Caesars, for example, has a notable partnership with Louisiana State University.

“The majority of students at the University of Maryland are underage to bet on sports,” Whyte said. “One operator is helping to create additional risk across the entire system.”

Whyte believes decreasing the amount of problem gamblers would be helped if operators incentivized players who bet responsibly.

“That’s where I think you’ll really start to see progress in responsible gambling, when a company starts putting real serious money behind it,” Whyte said.