Maryland Opens Another Retail Sports Betting Site, DraftKings Fairgrounds Facility on Deck

Even with Friday’s opening, Maryland still has a ton of sports-betting licenses available but unused.

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2023 1:51 PM ET Read Time: 2 min
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Another legal sports betting location has opened in Maryland, with one more potentially soon to follow. 

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission announced Friday it issued a retail sportsbook license to Canton Gaming LLC and its operator partner Parx Interactive Maryland Inc. for a brick-and-mortar wagering facility at the Greene Turtle restaurant in Towson.

Both Canton Gaming and Parx (which is associated with betPARX) completed controlled demonstrations of their wagering capabilities earlier this week at the restaurant, allowing customers to place bets and regulators to ensure proper procedures were followed.

The Greene Turtle in Towson is now Maryland’s 13th retail sportsbook, including another Greene Turtle location in Canton. Other spots for in-person Maryland sports betting include the state’s casinos and FedEx Field in Landover. 

All's fair in love and wagering 

Those retail sportsbooks are in addition to 12 online sports betting sites operating in Maryland, including betParx, BetMGM, and BetRivers, among others. The two dozen retail and mobile sportsbooks handled $263.7 million in wagering during August, with online betting accounting for nearly 95% of the total. 

Still, even with mobile handling the bulk of sports betting in Maryland, the state is rolling out new retail locations. Another is nearly ready, as the gaming commission found on Thursday that MSF Sports Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Maryland State Fair and Agricultural Society, is qualified for a retail wagering license. The society runs the annual state fair and conducts live horse racing and off-track pari-mutuel betting at the fairgrounds.

DraftKings, which is live in Maryland with mobile wagering, has the exclusive right to run a retail sportsbook at the fairgrounds. The bookmaker “will provide all related equipment, customer and marketing services and personnel to staff the facility,” a report to the commission noted. 

The fair’s application will now move to Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission for further scrutiny and the possible awarding of the license. After that, the fair and DraftKings will need to satisfy regulators they are ready to open their sportsbook, including by running a controlled demonstration as the Greene Turtle did. 

'Dead spots'

However, even with Friday’s opening and Thursday’s progress, Maryland still has a ton of sports-betting licenses available but unused. The state’s sports betting law allows for up to 47 brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and 60 mobile licenses. Maryland is not even halfway to using that capacity. 

At least one Maryland lawmaker has noticed the slack in the sportsbook supply line. Whether or not that translates into additional retail locations remains to be seen.

“There’s a lot of dead spots, I guess I would say,” Del. Jason Buckel said earlier this month, according to Maryland Matters. “There’s very few on the Eastern Shore. For Montgomery County with 1.1 million people, there’s one in all of Montgomery County. There’s dead spots kind of all over the state.”

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