Daily Fantasy Sports giants DraftKings and FanDuel were joined by Caesars, BetMGM, BetRivers, Barstool, and PointsBet in a same-day launch on Nov. 23.
Those approvals came 12 months after sports betting was legalized at Maryland casinos.
As with the previous licensees, BetFred Sportsbook completed what Maryland Lottery and Gaming regulators describe as “a controlled demonstration” before final approval is issued.
During the demonstration, bettors participate in live wagering observed by the regulators to ensure that proper procedures and systems function properly.
BetFred also has a partnership with a brick-and-mortar sports betting location, as do most of its rivals. The BetFred partner is Long Shot’s, an off-track horse race betting site located in Frederick.
Long Shot’s is the only 100% female-owned sportsbook site in Maryland, and work is underway on a permanent 6,000 square feet facility with a video wall and both theater-style and lounge seating.
Founded in England in 1967, BetFred now owns and operates more than 1,600 betting shops in the United Kingdom – along with mobile sports betting and online casino offerings in the UK and in Spain.
BetFred operates in nine states aside from Maryland: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.
More to come in Maryland
How many more rivals can the original seven Maryland online sportsbooks expect? While Maryland law allows for up to 60 mobile sportsbooks, a larger and more gambling-focused state like New Jersey had maxed out at around two dozen.
Still, Superbook in February was granted a license by the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC), and an official launch is believed to be imminent. Crab Sports, a local business, received a similar approval on the same day.
Meanwhile, BallyBet and WynnBet also have received preliminary approvals to join the field in Maryland, with no launch dates set. Pennsylvania-based Parx Casino also has applied to state regulators for a mobile sports betting license, and all of the newcomers likely will be online and serving customers before football season begins in the fall.
Speaking of which, Fanatics recently opened a retail sportsbook at FedEx Field in Landover, home of the NFL’s Washington Commanders – a first but not the last for NFL stadiums. A Fanatics mobile sportsbook is soon expected to follow.
Finally, there are 10 retail sportsbooks scattered around the state of Maryland – five of which are located in casinos, out of the six casinos in the state. Only the Rocky Gap Casino Resort, the smallest of the six facilities does not offer visitors a chance to make in-person bets (though they can use Maryland sports betting apps on their smartphones).