OXON HILL, Md. — Online and mobile sports betting is now set to launch in Maryland on Monday afternoon, with regulators having approved 10 licenses this week.
At least seven companies, including industry giants FanDuel and DraftKings, will be going live in Maryland Monday, while other licensees, including an affiliate of the Washington Commanders, are going to need a little extra time, according to state regulators.
Those going live will begin with an “operational test” observed by state regulators between 2 and10 p.m., when customers can log on and make bets on events like Monday Night Football. If the test passes regulatory scrutiny, a full launch of mobile and online sports betting in Maryland is set for Wednesday Nov. 23.
The launch comes just in time for a Thanksgiving weekend calendar packed with sports as well as the upcoming NFL playoffs.
"I think it's a perfect time," FanDuel General Manager Karol Corcoran said. "Thanksgiving football is obviously a big date in the diary for many of us. And then we roll into a packed weekend of college football and an the NFL on the Sunday."
Robert Linnehan is a journalist covering sports betting regulations nationwide for XLMedia who has reported on the long process of licensing operators in Maryland.
"Maryland has had the longest delay from a sports betting bill being signed into law to when the first online bet will be placed of any state in the country that has legalized sports betting," Linnehan said. "So people have been waiting a long time for this."
Linnehan explained much of the delay is because Maryland’s marathon licensing process was set up to give smaller local operators an opportunity to get in on the same action online action as industry giants.
Ten licenses were approved Wednesday by Maryland regulators but three licensees are not yet ready to go live, according to John Martin of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. The licensees who will not launch next week include the partners working with the Washington Commanders, Linnehan said. The team has not commented.
Mobile and online sports betting is projected to gross $123.3 million for operators and net $26.4 million in tax revenue for Maryland, according to state projections.
If you or a loved one has a problem with gambling, the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network can be reached at 1-800-522-4700. The network is a single national access point to local resources for those seeking help for a gambling problem. Help is available 24/7 and is 100% confidential.