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DraftKings Granted Initial Approval for Maryland Sportsbook

DraftKings Granted Initial Approval for Maryland Sportsbook article feature image
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Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: A general view of M&T Bank Stadium.

DraftKings took a step towards entering Maryland‘s far-off online sports betting market Thursday, after receiving initial approval for a retail sportsbook.

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency granted initial approval for a DraftKings sportsbook at the Timonium Racetrack. Its part of a 10-year agreement DraftKings inked with the Maryland State Fair back in 2020.

The Fairgrounds horse racing facility is one of 17 locations designated to take retail bets under Maryland’s sports betting law.

So far, Maryland Lottery has approved a dozen of those “Class B” locations, which will be eligible for their own online platforms.

DraftKings could alternatively gain online access in Maryland via its partnership with the Baltimore Ravens. M&T Bank Stadium, where the Ravens play, is designated a betting license under Maryland’s law.

When those locations would be able to actually take mobile wagers is still very much up in the air.

Online Betting Still Up in the Air

Last week the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission said online betting could start in early 2023, though it wouldn’t be surprising if that got moved back.

Since Marylanders legalized sports betting via a 2020 ballot referendum, regulators have dragged their feet on an online launch, so much that Maryland’s delay is by far the longest of any state’s.

Executive Defends $3 Billion in Losses

While the Maryland Lottery unanimously voted to move forward DraftKings’ application, Lottery chair, E. Randolph Mariner, took a shot at the online gaming giant’s reported financial struggles.

Mariner noted that DraftKings is down $3 billion since 2018 and questioned how it could sustain longterm success in Maryland.

“We’re gaining scale and profitability will improve,” Joe DeCristofaro, DraftKings Vice President of Investor Relations, said, noting the company’s launched mobile products in 18 states in four years.

He added DraftKings expects to turn a profit by late 2023.

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