Maryland has officially kick started its online sports betting journey after seven mobile sportsbooks went live across the state upon launch of the ecosystem.

Taking place at 9am on Wednesday 21 November, the region’s Lottery and Gaming Control Commission confirmed the issuance of licensing to seven online sportsbooks.

This saw Bingo World (BetRivers), BetMGM Maryland Sports (BetMGM), Crown Maryland Gaming (DraftKings), CZR Maryland Mobile Opportunity (Caesars), Live Casino! and Hotel (FanDuel), Penn Maryland/Hollywood Casino (Barstool Sportsbook) and Riverboat on the Potomac (PointsBet) each go live.

This came following the competition of controlled demonstrations, during which customers participated in live wagering. The regulator also ensured that the seven operators complied with all required procedures, and that their systems functioned properly.

A further three entities, namely Greenmount (Parx Interactive), Long Shot’s (Betfred) and Maryland Stadium Sub (Fanatics Sportsbook), were also awarded certifications by the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission.

However, after it was confirmed that they would not be ready in time to meet the launch date, the regulator has updated that it is “working closely” to guide them through the operational requirements that must be finalised to commence activities. The timing of their launches has not been determined.

“We’re excited to reach this milestone and have mobile wagering available to everyone with Thanksgiving Day football games coming up tomorrow,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin

“But at the same time, this is only a milepost. There are additional mobile sports wagering entities in the pipeline, and our work is ongoing as we guide them across the finish line.”

SWARC received 21 applications for mobile sports wagering licenses, with the Maryland Lottery and Gaming currently in the process of conducting background investigations of the remaining 11 applicants. An applicant must be found qualified via an MLG  background investigation before SWARC can award a license. Names will not be disclosed until this has been undertaken.

In addition to hailing a “monumental” day in expanding its US-based sports betting footprint, Adam Greenblatt, BetMGM CEO, noted: “This is a significant milestone that elevates our vision to deliver world-class entertainment to sports fans in the DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV).

“The convenience of our best in-class mobile app connects directly to the engaging atmosphere we’ve created in our retail sportsbooks at MGM National Harbor and Nationals Park.”

Elsewhere, Catena Media has also began its adventure in the state, with affiliation operations being conducted through the group’s network of national brands such as LegalSportsReport.com, GamingToday.com, TheLines.com and Lineups.com. Catena is also operating via its regional websites such as PlayMaryland.com.

Ryan Harper, Catena Media Vice President North America – Revenue, said: “As with the Kansas launch in September, we expect a strong result from the Maryland go-live. The timing is excellent, given that we are in week 12 of the NFL season and have the added bonus of the World Cup kicking off this week.”

Furthermore, White Hat Gaming has marked its 14th state of entry after launching its platform account management solution on day one of Maryland’s newly opened regulated online sports betting market.

This includes the travelling wallet functionality, which allows players to move from state to state and between gaming verticals without the need to transfer funds, as well as an in-house built cashier that offers operators multiple configuration options.

Phil Gelvan, White Hat Gaming CEO, commented: “Credit to the entire White Hat Gaming team for taking our PAM solution into yet another regulated US state. The fact our technology is live in 14 states shows we have a product that is capable of engineering quality and safe betting experiences at scale.

“We are proud to have entered Maryland alongside our long-term operator partner PENN Entertainment and its Barstool Sports brand. It’s an exciting period for White Hat Gaming as we continue to enjoy considerable growth and believe Maryland will prove to be another key market of traction for the company.”