Updated September 23, 2023By Chris Boline
In the Old Line State, Maryland sportsbooks are being tasked with serving a wider audience in the state, at least according to one lawmaker. According to a recent report, Delegate Jason Buckel (R-Allegany) says the physical sports betting locations are mostly in cities and more populated areas and believes there are certain parts of the state, with one being the Eastern Shore, that are underserved. Per the article, Buckle told one outlet, “There’s a lot of dead spots (in the state), I guess I would say. There are very few on the Eastern Shore. For Montgomery County with 1.1 million people, there is one sportsbook. There are dead spots all over the state.” Indeed though most of the betting activity is in states where retail and mobile sportsbooks are operated via the Internet, some bettors do prefer playing in person.
In this article, SBS will be going over what to look for from the latest gaming news coming out of Maryland along with more notes and information about Maryland wagering.
Betting at physical sportsbooks has appeal for Marylanders
Per the same article, betting at physical sportsbooks gives bettors more anonymity and a more social experience. Moreover, retail books can also be preferred by bettors who believe the convenience of betting online could pose a danger to their betting habits and behaviors. According to one article, in August of this year, retail sportsbooks accounted for just $13.4 million of the more than $263.7 million wagered. Mobile books tools over $250.3 million in bets. Moreover, online operators experienced a higher win rate at nearly 10% (24.4M) whereas retail bettors fared better, as in-person oddsmakers kept 3.5% of the action ($474K).
However, according to the article, Buckel’s wish that more retail sportsbooks come to Maryland might be a long shot. John Martin, director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, oversees SWARC, says the state’s sports betting bill called for only a single bidding period. The application window closed on Oct. 21, 2022. Martin also explained that “there is currently no provision in the law to offer another enrollment period.” Randy Marriner, who chairs the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency and who is a SWARC member, added that “no one is beating our door saying, ‘Let me in.’”
Gaming regulators say Maryland gaming still in infancy
Per the same article, state gaming regulators have also commented recently saying that the sports betting market in the Old Line State is still in its infancy. Moreover, consolidation could be forthcoming as the 12 retail books and 12 online sports wagering platforms battle for market share. While Maryland has welcomed major players such as BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars Sportsbook, the state has also approved smaller online sportsbook operators like Betfred, Crab Sports Maryland, and BetParx.
As regular readers of this space are aware, Maryland lawmakers, in their 2021 legislation, authorized up to 30 retail sportsbook licenses and another 60 for online operations. In total, the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) can issue a total of 107 sports betting permits. But today, Maryland has just 12 brick-and-mortar sportsbook locations and a dozen online platforms.
Other thoughts and information about Maryland wagering
Once you are all dialed in regarding the latest news and information coming from Maryland, make sure to check out all the other great information for you at SBS. Moreover, if you are in need of more info for the state topic at hand, our Maryland sports betting breakdown is a great page to always check in with. Here you can learn more about the latest gaming news coming out of the Old Line State. On a separate note, for those looking to diversify their deposit and withdrawal options, the payment methods rundown gives you a ton of options to select from which include crypto to more traditional banking routes. Finally, if you are in the market for some higher-end wagers, our VIP sports betting sites guide has a ton of fantastic information to get you rolling along. Here you can learn more about the perks of VIP sports betting and if it is the right fit for you.
About the Author
As a devout aficionado of sports, Chris Boline has carved a career within the athletic realm. A skilled scribe, he boasts a decade-long portfolio that encompasses coverage of the NBA G League, the Los Angeles Chargers, football in the Mountain West Conference, and basketball.
Beyond his professional pursuits, Chris is deeply invested in his community and dedicates his leisure hours to serving on boards, collaborating with community organizations, and cherishing the company of loved ones.
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