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Super Bowl LVI Marks First Major Opportunity for Maryland Sports Betting

Maryland sports betting

Maryland voters approved a question on their 2020 ballot to approve sports betting within state boundaries; in 2021, the state’s General Assembly passed a law that legalized Maryland sports betting. In 2022, the Old Line State has its first major chance to break into the market.

Super Bowl LVI is expected to generate over $7.6 billion in wagers, with Maryland being one of the newest faces in the gambling community. This presents an immediate opportunity to test the framework and construction of the state’s newly-legalized gambling operations.

Maryland Sports Betting Takes Shape

Governor Larry Hogan placed the first bet in MGM Harbor Casino on Thursday, December 6, 2021. His ticket included a Super Bowl futures prediction that the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Football Team (now the Commanders) would meet up to battle for the Lombardi Trophy.

“This is a win, win for Maryland,” Hogan said. “The only loser is MGM because they’re going to have to pay me more than 20 grand when I hit this one.”

Hogan’s cheeky remark was long overdue but well-received as he helped welcome Maryland into the future of American entertainment. 

Maryland’s initial decision to legalize sports gambling in 2020 made them the 17th state to do so. For Hogan, the 2021 reveal— and first-ever legal bet— was a monumental day.

“We’ve been behind,” Hogan said. “[Legalizing Maryland sports betting]’s been a long time coming, and I think it’s going to be good.”

Entering the Market

Maryland has a unique atmosphere that will be perfect for gambling opportunities in many ways. First and foremost, they have a major draw for locals and tourists in the form of the national harbor. Here, there are hotels, a casino, bars and restaurants, an aquarium, outlet malls, a Ferris wheel, and other attractions. All of these combine to make it an appealing destination, especially for sports gamblers.

Another benefit that Maryland has is geography; just next door to Washington D.C., they will be able to attract a large crowd of visitors who have deep pockets. 

The seventh state is also close to prominent professional sports teams, including the Ravens, Washington Commanders, Washington Wizards, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Capitals, and D.C. United.

They also have a powerhouse college in the University of Maryland that will offer great future betting prospects.

Reading the Field

Online betting is currently not available for prospective gamblers in Maryland, but there is a target date of Fall 2022. All wagers must be placed at retail locations until then, but bettors will be able to use the best sports betting apps once the launch is complete.

Up to 60 licenses will be available for online sportsbooks after they pass a thorough vetting process. DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, PointsBet, TwinSpires, and Unibet are different sportsbooks currently operational in Maryland. These and other books typically offer sports betting promotions, which will further encourage registration.

Although there is not yet widespread availability, this weekend’s Super Bowl will be the first major event in the post-legalization era. This is a great opportunity to see the impact and gauge the interest level of Maryland sports betting.

15% of the gross profits will be paid to the state, the majority of which will go to a public education fund.

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