Australian-based PointsBet secured access for both online and retail sports betting in Maryland, the company announced late Wednesday via press release after reaching agreement on a 10-year strategic partnership with the Riverboat Group.
The deal will give PointsBet access to The Riverboat-on-the-Potomac, a licensed off-track betting facility in Charles County, pending regulatory approval. Maryland voters approved sports betting last November via referendum, and Gov. Larry Hogan signed it into law last month. The General Assembly passed a bill with framework in April, and live retail wagering is expected this fall.
“With terrific partners in The Riverboat-on-the-Potomac, PointsBet is thrilled to begin the process toward offering the passionate, sports-loving community of Maryland with the fastest and most differentiated sports betting product across every customer touchpoint,” said PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken via press release. “We look forward to quickly and responsibly introducing sports bettors to the newly legalized competitive advantages PointsBet possesses in owning our technology end-to-end, such as market-leading ease of use and the deepest slate of betting options available in the world.”
Key entry point for PointsBet
The deal gives PointsBet access to a key part of the “DMV,” with Charles County less than an hour’s drive from the District of Columbia and near the state line of Virginia — both legal jurisdictions for sports betting. While it does not have access to those two markets yet, PointsBet can promote its regional presence through its partnership with NBC Sports Washington.
Additionally, the physical location of The Riverboat on the Potomac offers marketing opportunities in Virginia since the Riverboat, which is moored, spans both states. The betting lounge, restaurant, liquor store, and other facilities are located over the Maryland state line, which means the Riverboat contributes to Maryland Lottery revenue and pays other Maryland state taxes.
— The Market Herald (@themarketherald) June 10, 2021
“We’re excited about this new endeavor, PointsBet is not only an international leader but has recently proven to be an industry trailblazer. Their landmark agreement with the Riverboat-on-the-Potomac has provided an incredible model for the diversity and inclusion of MBEs all over the United States,” said Winston DeLattiboudere, co-managing member of the Riverboat Group.
“We are proud to be partnering with a giant that understands and believes in the value of inclusiveness in every facet of the industry, from the owners to the bettors. Moreover, I am so grateful to the Maryland General Assembly for passing legislation which helped to make this enormous opportunity a reality.”
Who else has Maryland market access?
Teaming with the Riverboat Group also plays into PointsBet’s vast experience with horse racing in Australia. It reached a similar deal to offer retail sports wagering at OTB locations in Illinois by partnering with Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago.
"Unlike other states, Maryland is… creating licensing opportunities for gaming operators of all sizes. Maryland wants their sports betting to be diverse and inclusive, which is why they have created licensing tiers ranging from… $2 million down to $50,000."
— Lindsay Poss (@LindsayPoss) June 8, 2021
Maryland’s new law allows for 60 digital sports betting licenses for entities ranging from the state’s pro teams, existing casinos, and horse racetracks to local amusement centers and some bars and restaurants.
Several national operators have built-in access to the Maryland market via existing casinos, including Barstool Sports (Penn National/Hollywood Casino Perryville), BetMGM (MGM National Harbor), Caesars (Horseshoe Casino), and TwinSpires (Churchill Downs/Ocean Downs Casino). Others like DraftKings, FanDuel, or FoxBet will likely find partners in existing casinos, professional sports teams, or racetracks, many of which are explicitly named in the new law.