As Maryland bettors still wait to see online sports betting become a reality in their state, the Baltimore Orioles have now announced a long-term partnership with SuperBook Sports. The deal was unveiled as the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) held its latest meeting, with Jim Nielsen, deputy director and COO of the State Lottery & Gaming Control Agency, stating that while it is hard to give a specific timeline, he is hopeful mobile betting will come "early next year."
“It is possible that Marylanders could be able to bet on the Super Bowl on a mobile platform. That’s certainly, I think, everybody’s hope," Nielsen stated on Wednesday, according to The Baltimore Sun, addressing the NFL championship game in February.
On the same day, the Orioles announced the team would partner with SuperBook Sports on a retail sports lounge at Oriole Park at Camden Yards due to open in 2023. Fans will have the ability to place bets on mobile devices at the venue once it becomes legal.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
This sports lounge remains “subject to licensing and approvals from the Maryland & Gaming Control Commission," according to the team's statement. The press release described the relationship between the Orioles and SuperBook Sports as a “long-term partnership," but the terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The Orioles’ lease with its landlord, the Maryland Stadium Authority, expires at the end of next year.
The betting lounge will include food and drinks, and seating for fans to watch the games they've wagered on. Other details about the SuperBook Sports Lounge, such as where it will be located in the stadium complex, will be announced at a later date.
"We are constantly exploring unique opportunities to engage with Birdland's diverse fanbase and welcome new visitors to downtown Baltimore," said T.J. Brightman, the club's Chief Revenue Officer. "The addition of a SuperBook sportsbook only reinforces our iconic ballpark's standing as one of the premier entertainment destinations in the region."
The commission also approved Wednesday a sports wagering facility license for Maryland Stadium Sub, which plans to operate a sportsbook at FedEx Field in Prince George’s County, home of the NFL’s Washington Commanders, reports the cited source. The company is owned by Dan Snyder, the Commanders’ majority owner.
Governor Larry Hogan
Governor Larry Hogan has been pushing for the launch of online sports betting for some time now, having sent a letter to SWARC in June in which it asked the Commission to accelerate the process and have it up and running as soon as possible.
“Sports fans in Maryland simply want to be able to place bets on their mobile devices - that’s what they voted for, and they are angry and discouraged over SWARC’s inability to make it happen," the Governor wrote at the time.
Maryland voters first approved the legalization of sports betting with a vote in 2020, with Hogan signing the bill into law in 2021. Since then, casinos have opened sportsbooks, but mobile betting has not yet been launched.
Hogan had previously urged regulators to get mobile betting up and running in time for the start of the NFL season this fall, but the latest remarks seemingly indicate this may not be the case. While most states take about eight to 12 months to launch, Maryland’s timeline could approach two years.