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Maryland’s Unusual First Day Of Online Sports Betting

  • Sportsbooks went live for eight hours Monday, before shutting down until full launch Wednesday.
  • It's the first time a state has done this since PASPA was struck down in 2018.
Baltimore Ravens team runs out of tunnel prior to NFL game
Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland is undertaking a unique process to finally get legal mobile sports betting live this week ahead of Thanksgiving.

On Monday at 2 p.m. ET, the state launched a trial period for its seven approved sportsbooks to test their platforms until 10 p.m. ET, when the state’s legal betting will go offline again.

Assuming there are no or only minor issues from the testing period, mobile sports betting will go fully live in Maryland on Wednesday.

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Per Action Network, this is the first time a state has done something like this since PASPA was struck down in 2018. States sometimes do soft launches — but have never taken mobile betting fully online before taking it offline again for a few days.

It’s been a long road for Maryland just to get to this point.

  • The original bill (SB 4) was approved by the state House and Senate in March 2020.
  • An amendment to the state Constitution to allow for sports betting was approved by voters in November 2020.
  • After a period of drafting up regulations and details, Gov. Larry Hogan signed it into law in May 2021.
  • Retail in-person sports betting went live in December 2021.

Though it took some time, mobile sports betting in Maryland will allow for up to 60 online sportsbooks, with FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, PointsBet, Barstool Sportsbook, and BetRivers serving as the first to market for both the trial period and full launch.

Maryland will be the 21st state to allow online betting — and will look to add to what has already been a record year for American sportsbooks.

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A projected $1.8 billion of handle for the World Cup alone could add to the usually high handles for the NFL and college football to create a record month for the nascent American sports betting industry.

The industry set a quarterly record in Q3 2022 ($1.68B) and its $4.78 billion of revenue through three quarters has already surpassed the record for an entire year ($4.34B).

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