ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. - Maryland's Sports Wagering Application Commission held a meeting Wednesday that awarded licenses to 10 betting companies. This means that the long wait for mobile sports betting in Maryland will soon be over.
State officials are saying online wagering could go live just before Thanksgiving. There will be a demonstration period on Monday 11/21, and after that, it's very likely that some of these sports betting apps will be up and running by Thanksgiving.
It has been years since Maryland voters passed a referendum to allow sports betting in the state. It took a year for casinos to get the state to allow them to start taking sports bets, and Virginia and D.C. have had their sports betting apps already online.
Sports bettors at Maryland Live! Casino in Anne Arundel County tell FOX 5 it's about time.
"It’s been frustrating, but I knew it was coming," one gambler said. "I just had to be patient, and I knew it was something that when it came in I would take advantage of."
"If you want to do it right then and there, and you want to do it on your phone they’re like ‘oh, I’m sorry you got to go to Virginia or you gotta go to D.C.!’ but we need that here in Maryland," another sports bettor said. "We’ve been needing that!"
"It’s definitely the better way to do it. You can research at home. You can be live while being at home. You don’t have to come to the casino. You know it’s way better," one patron added.
In a statement, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan hailed the news writing, "To reach this point, we have had to overcome countless legal, political, and bureaucratic delays that threatened to push back the launch past the Super Bowl next year."
John Martin, director of the Maryland Lottery told FOX 5 mobile sports betting could generate $25-$30 million in tax revenue in its first year.
"Based on that action on Wednesday we’ll know, and we’ll communicate with all of the awardees, when and how we finalize the controlled demonstrations and announce the start date," Martin said. "Everyone who’s ready will be ready to go."
Some of the biggest players in online sports betting – FanDuel, Barstool, BetMGM, Draft Kings, and Fanatics Betting and Gaming – are among the candidates being selected by the state.