DraftKings Bolster Appeal in Maryland With Baltimore Ravens Sponsorship
Maryland is still working through the regulatory process to launch legal sports betting. Changes to state law have paved the way for both retail and online sports betting through licensed operators.
One of those legal operators in the Maryland market will be DraftKings Sportsbook. As a means for building a Maryland customer base, the popular sports betting site has formed a strategic partnership with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens.
As part of this new agreement, DraftKings will become an official sports betting partner of the team. The Boston-based company will also have the designation of being the official Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Partner of the Baltimore Ravens.
DraftKings will be licensed to operate a retail sportsbook inside M&T Bank Stadium as the home field for the team. This includes a mobile sports betting platform tied to this sporting venue.
The next big step in the process would be the legal launch of sports betting in the state. The target date to go live was set as Sept. 9 to coincide with the start of the 2021 NFL regular season.
Industry insiders now point to later in the fall. Gov. Larry Hogan has referred to the original timeline for launch as “just impossible.”
Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Committee (SWARC) recently held its first meeting. While this is viewed as a significant step forward, there is still quite a bit of work to be done.
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission (MLGCC) will oversee the regulation of sports betting licenses. A vote on specific sports betting venues could take place during the planned September meeting.
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Given the hurdles that still need to be cleared in the licensing process, launch during the second half of the NFL season appears to be more likely. New gaming laws in the state call for as many as 20 Class A retail sports betting venues.
This list includes all the state’s land-based casinos. It also includes M&T Stadium, Oriole Park and FedEx Field. Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course would operate under one gaming license.
There is also a list of venues in line for a Class B sports betting license. This list includes the Maryland State Fair, Off-Track Betting (OTBs) facilities and two Bingo halls.
The SWARC is tasked with establishing the license application process. This includes legal mobile sports betting operators. Up to 30 Class B licenses can be issued. The new gaming laws allow for as many as 60 mobile sports betting licenses.
The rules and regulations governing legal sports betting in the state have been released. They are currently undergoing a set 30-day review period. The MLGCC is also responsible for this aspect of the regulatory process.
There is still a chance that DraftKings could have its retail sportsbook up and running at M&T Bank Stadium this football season. The retail books in Maryland may be able to launch ahead of the mobile operators.
The new partnership with the Ravens would give DraftKings a leg up on the competition if the state decides to launch legal sports betting in this fashion.
BetMGM is another legal US-based book with sponsorship ties to the Baltimore Ravens. However, DraftKings will run the actual book in M&T Bank Stadium.