While mobile sportsbooks still aren’t live in the state, Marylanders last week gained another retail sportsbook option. PointsBet Sportsbook went live at Riverboat on the Potomac, becoming the seventh operational sportsbook in Maryland.
The sportsbook launched at the start of the 2022 NFL season, giving fans a game-day experience that features 21 TVs, a bar, and a lounge. Riverboat’s official address is listed in Colonial Beach, Virginia, but its Potomac River location gave it the ability to receive a sports wagering license in Maryland.
“PointsBet is delighted to commence operations with The Riverboat team in the brand-new sportsbook overlooking the beautiful Potomac River,” Paul Hannon, senior vice president of corporate development at PointsBet, said in a statement.
PointsBet $PBH has announced that its Maryland subsidiary has taken its first retail sportsbook bet. This represents PBH's 12th sportsbook operation in the US. PBH expects its online operations to launch in Maryland in early Q3 FY23.
— CommSec (@CommSec) September 8, 2022
Riverboat on the Potomac is owned by Bodhi-Naav LLC and Delmock Technologies Inc. Bodhi-Naav is a minority woman-owned business, and Delmock Technologies is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), making Riverboat on the Potomac one of the more diverse sports betting entities in Maryland.
“This is a seminal achievement for the partnership and Maryland’s gaming industry at large as the launch represents the first Minority Business Enterprise to go live with licensed gaming in the state’s history, in line with the spirit of the legislation,” Hannon said. “It is a proud moment for The Riverboat and for us at PointsBet as their partner.”
Maryland sports betting legislation includes specific language designed to foster diversity and inclusion in the state’s sports betting market. Diversity measures are actually a reason why the state’s mobile betting launch is taking so long, as the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) spent months diving into what diversity measures the commission could legally implement when accepting mobile sports wagering applications.
“We fought hard for the sports betting industry in Maryland to be inclusive of both Charles County and minority businesses,” state Sen. Arthur Ellis said in a statement. “The partnership between the Riverboat and PointsBet is a success on both fronts, proof that Maryland can be a leader in equity. This sportsbook gives Charles County a seat at the table, with 100% minority business enterprise (MBE) licensed ownership, in a billion-dollar industry.”
Long Shot’s OTB, located in Frederick, is expected to launch a Betfred Sportsbook in the near future, although it didn’t launch ahead of the NFL season as expected. Long Shot’s, a woman-owned business, also will add noteworthy diversity to the state’s sports wagering industry.
Mobile launch at least a month away
Mobile sports wagering platforms are expected to launch in Maryland before year’s end. Currently, the application period for mobile sports wagering licenses is open.
Once the application window closes on Oct. 21, the SWARC will begin reviewing applications. The SWARC has up to 45 days to award mobile betting licenses, although there’s some hope that the SWARC won’t need a full 45 days to review all licensees.
It’s possible mobile sports betting platforms could launch in the state in late October, although November or December might be more realistic launch months, still within the 2022 NFL season.