Maryland adds another platform, Kentucky ready for NFL in 2023?


This week’s industry news roundup features items from multiple states. Take a look at how Maryland adds another platform to its sports betting market catalog. As well, Kentucky hopes to launch its sports betting operation by the start of the NFL season, but things may be different for Fanatics.

SuperBook Joins the Old Line State

Before Thanksgiving weekend arrived in 2022, bettors across the state could only place wagers at brick-and-mortar locations in Maryland, the Old Line State. Even though a few locations were available throughout the Old Line State, the convenience cannot be compared to using mobile devices and laptops.

The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission met on Wednesday to award a sportsbook license to SuperBook. In spite of Maryland’s late entry into the online sportsbook coalition, the market continues to grow rapidly.

According to the market, Superbook will be the ninth digital platform to go live in the state with 60 skins available. The company gains market access in another key state as the brand continues to market in the right direction.

Maryland Adds Another Platform Including Camden Yards

SuperBook is available in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, New Jersey, and Tennessee. In addition, the company is making its presence felt in the Baltimore Orioles ballpark with the SuperBook Sports Lounge at Camden Yards. The lounge doesn’t accept wagers, but the idea isn’t out of the picture.

The platform will have a lot of work to do in the near future. That’s because FanDuel accounted for 50 percent of the market share, with a $176.5 million handle last month. DraftKings followed with a $115.5 million handle.

Over $370.3 million was wagered on Maryland’s online sportsbooks during March 2023 with the help of March Madness. Could this be a reason why Maryland adds another platform?

Off $35.4 million in adjusted sports betting revenue, the state collected a record $5.3 million in tax receipts. 

Can Kentucky Launch By the Start of NFL Season?

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission acknowledged this week that it is working on sports betting regulations. By the time the KY sports betting law takes effect in June, regulations should be mostly ready.

Gov. Andy Beshear has been the advocate of adding the business venture to create more jobs and keep the money circulating within the state’s borders. He wants the launch to happen when the NFL season closes in because it’s the most wagered sport in the United States.

However, everything will need to be in place for this plan to work. Many states, including Maryland and Ohio, have tried to launch by the start of the NFL season. But there are a lot of steps that go into every single detail before the official launch date becomes official.

Looking For Quick Launch With Success

Maryland had to wait until Thanksgiving weekend for the online sports betting market to launch. While Ohio had to wait until January 1, 2023, to go through with its highly anticipated universal launch.

In contrast, some states have pushed for a quick launch and were successful. Just last year, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed sports betting into law on May 12, 2022, and sportsbook operators accepted wagers by September 1st. Similarly, Arizona sportsbooks launched online on Sept. 9, 2021, five months after Gov. Doug Ducey approved sports betting legislation in April.

Regardless of what information comes from the news, the Bluegrass State will finally join its peers in terms of having a legalized market. Neighboring states: Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, and Illinois all have legal markets. Missouri is the only state facing long odds to get anything finalized this year.

Has Fanatics Pumped the Brakes on its Sportsbook Launch?

As far as the launch this year is concerned, CEO Michael Rubin seems to have mitigated high expectations for the Fanatics Sportsbook launch by the NFL season. Many experts and bettors were excited to see what the innovative platform will bring to the competitive sports betting industry. But that will be on hold.

By the start of the NFL season in 2023, Rubin expects Fanatics to offer US sports betting in 12-15 states. In October 2022, Rubin predicted 15-20 states would be live for NFL betting in 2023.

Fanatics had plans to go live in Massachusetts, but pushed back those plans after a delayed launch was announced. The bookmaker is only beta-testing its app in Ohio and Tennessee. The company opened a retail sportsbook location at FedEx Field in Maryland and has been taking bets since February.

While gaining market access in 12-15 states by the start of the NFL is a goal for the company, the new competitors on the block are falling behind the rest of the competition. However, Fanatics has a strong consumer database from its online apparel business. Which means getting consumers to sign up for the new platform won’t be much of an issue.

Behind Schedule But Procuring Markets

Fanatics may be a little behind schedule, but could continue to explore markets throughout the industry. Currently, the operator has a pending application in Pennsylvania, which is a prominent contributor to the industry’s overall success.

Additionally, the company is a founding member of the Texas Sports Betting Alliance. But the operation is considered a long shot in the Lone Star State.

They tried to get an approved license in New York. However, it was one of the many that fell short during the competitive bill cycle.

High Tax Rate in NY Crushing Profits

Fanatics may be considered lucky for striking out on the opportunity. This is due to the sportsbook operators in the Empire State having expressed their concerns in regard to the 51 percent tax rate. This is limiting the ability to become profitable in the lucrative market. Adding additional betting markets in the Empire State may also take a while for lawmakers to consider.

Although Prop 27 fell short in California, the mobile sportsbook operators will have another chance to campaign in the 2024 election cycle. Fanatics is one of the primary sponsors of the initiative. But will need to gain market access in at least 10 states to accept bets in the Golden State if Prop 27 wins in 2024.

Stayed tuned to future articles featuring sports betting industry news. We will keep up on news if Maryland adds another platform, Kentucky launches and much more.