Monday, July 15, 2024

British Gambling Giant Betfred Exits Maryland’s Sports Betting Market, Paving Way for Incoming Operators


Betfred Bids Farewell to Maryland as New Operators Prepare to Enter the Market

In a significant shift within Maryland’s sports betting industry, British gambling giant Betfred has announced its plan to exit the state’s market. The announcement was made during a recent Maryland Lottery meeting, highlighting the end of Betfred’s venture in the region. The operator, in partnership with Long Shot’s in Frederick, will cease its retail sportsbook operations by June 30, followed by the discontinuation of its online sportsbook on July 31.

Betfred’s departure is attributed to the lackluster performance of its mobile sports betting application in the Maryland market. With a reported handle of just under $500,000 in May, Betfred struggled to keep pace in a competitive environment dominated by industry leaders. This figure starkly contrasts with the $195.2 million in online bets processed by FanDuel during the same period, highlighting the significant disparity in market share.

However, as Betfred plans its exit, the Maryland digital sports betting landscape braces itself for the introduction of new players. Among the anticipated newcomers, Veterans Services Corporation (VSC) aims for a July 1 launch, pending a successful controlled demonstration with the lottery scheduled for May 24. Additionally, Bally Bet is on the cusp of entering the Maryland market next month, with plans already set for an expansion into Massachusetts in June.

Another notable name seeking entry into Maryland’s online sports betting scene is Betr. The operator finds itself in the preliminary stages, requiring approval from the state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) to move forward. With SWARC slated to convene for the first time since October 2023 in the upcoming week, Betr’s application is expected to be on the agenda for review.

The withdrawal of Betfred from Maryland underscores the cutthroat nature of the state’s sports betting sector, particularly for smaller entities trying to carve out a niche. Despite this departure, the state’s sports betting market continues to thrive. In May, the total sports wagering handle in Maryland soared to $431.5 million, marking a 34.8% increase year-over-year. FanDuel led the charge with a substantial handle of $195 million, followed by DraftKings with $137.3 million, and an impressive $12.2 million in taxable wins.

In light of Betfred’s exit, plans are already underway for Long Shot’s to explore new partnership opportunities in sports betting. John Martin, the Director of Maryland Lottery & Gaming, addressed the separation between Long Shot’s and Betfred: “Long Shot’s and Betfred reached a mutually agreeable parting of the ways, which is common in the industry at this stage,” he explained.

Maryland’s sports betting framework is designed to foster a diverse market, allowing for over 15 “Class B” licenses. These licenses are primarily aimed at businesses such as off-track betting facilities and bingo halls, providing a broader spectrum of entities with the opportunity to participate in sports betting, beyond just the professional sports teams and casinos.

As the landscape of sports betting in Maryland continues to evolve, the departure of Betfred paves the way for new operators to make their mark. With the state’s market demonstrating robust growth and potential, the upcoming months are poised to introduce a renewed dynamism catalyzed by fresh offerings and strategic partnerships.

Jordan Clark
Jordan Clark
Jordan Clark brings a dynamic and investigative approach to business reporting. Holding a degree in Business Administration and a certification in Data Analysis, Jordan has an eye for detail and a knack for uncovering the stories behind the numbers. His career began in the bustling world of Silicon Valley startups, giving him firsthand experience in tech entrepreneurship and venture capital. Jordan's reports often focus on technology's impact on business, startup culture, and emerging

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