Marylanders could start placing mobile sports bets in 2023, and they might even do so from a sports lounge at Oriole Park at Camden Yards next season.
The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission met Wednesday and Jim Nielsen, the deputy director and chief operating officer of the State Lottery & Gaming Control Agency’s gaming and regulatory oversight division, said that while it’s hard to give a specific timeline, he’s hopeful mobile betting will come early next year to Maryland.
“It’s possible that Marylanders could be able to bet on the Super Bowl on a mobile platform,” he said of the NFL championship game in February. “That’s certainly, I think, everybody’s hope.”
Maryland voters first approved legalized sports betting with a vote in 2020 and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill into law in 2021. Since then, casinos have opened sportsbooks, but mobile betting has not yet launched. Hogan had urged gaming regulators to get mobile betting up and running in time for the start of the NFL season this fall.
“Sports fans in Maryland simply want to be able to place bets on their mobile devices — that’s what they voted for, and they are angry and discouraged over SWARC’s inability to make it happen,” Hogan wrote in a letter to SWARC in June.
Robert Linnehan, a sports betting regulatory reporter for XL Media and Saturday Tradition, said Maryland has had the longest gap among the states between when a law went into effect and the first mobile bet being placed. Most states have about an eight- to 12-month gap, Linnehan said, but Maryland’s could approach two years.
“It’s been a very complicated legislative procedure, where they’re trying to ensure that any gender, any ethnicity will have an equal opportunity to be a part of this online sports betting market,” he said. “Most states don’t take this much effort to ensuring the fairness, and whether people like it or not, that’s really been the source of all this delay.”
The commission also approved Wednesday a sports wagering facility license for Maryland Stadium Sub, which plans to operate a sportsbook at FedEx Field in Prince George’s County, home of the NFL’s Washington Commanders. The company is owned by Dan Snyder, the Commanders’ majority owner.
In similar, yet distinct, news, the Orioles announced Wednesday that the team would partner with SuperBook Sports, which has operated in Nevada since 1986, on a “retail sports lounge” in 2023. In a news release, the team called the addition a “sportsbook,” but spokeswoman Katie Krause later said in an email that she wanted to clarify the description.
“This will be a themed sports lounge,” she wrote, “however it is not a place where sports betting will take place. Once approved by the state, betting will take place only in a mobile format.”
The sports lounge remains “subject to licensing and approvals from the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Commission,” the club’s statement said.
The team’s release described it a “long-term partnership,” between the Orioles and SuperBook Sports, but terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The Orioles’ lease with its landlord, the Maryland Stadium Authority, expires at the end of next year.
At Camden Yards, SuperBook advertising will be “prevalent throughout the ballpark, including on the center field scoreboard and home plate signage,” according to the team’s statement. When asked for specifics about the center field advertising and where in the stadium the lounge would be located, as well as when exactly it will open, Krause wrote that details would be “announced at a later date.”
The Ravens previously have announced partnerships with BetMGM, DraftKings and Caesars. The NFL team declined Wednesday to provide insight into future plans.
“We are aware of the Orioles’ progress and are evaluating our options moving forward,” the Ravens said in a statement.
SuperBook Sports is home to what it calls “the World’s Largest Sportsbook,” the SuperBook Westgate Las Vegas, as well as a mobile app in Colorado and operations in Arizona, New Jersey and Tennessee. The company is planning expansions into Iowa, Ohio and Indiana, it said.
”SuperBook Sports has become the go-to source for leading sports media outlets, other bookmakers and a favorite place to wager for both novice and knowledgeable bettors alike,” according to the description provided by the Orioles.