DraftKings Touts Association with Ripken to Lure Mobile Bettors in Maryland

DraftKings Touts Association with Ripken to Lure Mobile Bettors in Maryland
By Bill Ordine
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

As “Launch Day” approaches, when mobile Maryland sports betting becomes available to eager wagering enthusiasts, sportsbooks are whetting the appetites of potential customers with news of the steps that need to be taken before the online action starts in earnest Nov. 23.

DraftKings Sportsbook Maryland just alerted customers to some of the things it has to do before being able to launch and added that one of the most admired athletes in Maryland is part of the DraftKings’ team.

The online gambling company, in its announcement, reminded folks Baltimore Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. is a Special Advisor to the Board of Directors for DraftKings. Actually, Ripken has served in that capacity for DraftKings since February 2021, which predates the state’s sports wagering law.

“As sports gaming continues to grow across the nation, it was important to me that if I entered this space, I would partner with a company that placed an emphasis on responsible gaming. With that top of mind, I joined the team at DraftKings and I am thrilled that it will be leading the way here in Maryland,” Ripken said in a statement as part of DraftKings’ most recent announcement. “Now, sports fans in our state will have access to the DraftKings Sportsbook, a safe and regulated betting option and a respected corporate leader.”

Keeping fans up to date as online betting nears, DraftKings said, “Following a mandatory early access test period from Nov. 21-22, 2022, it expects to launch its online sportsbook in Maryland, pending receipt of regulatory approvals, on Nov. 23, 2022.”

Come Wednesday, eager bettors will be looking for a DraftKings Maryland promo code, or one from at least six other initial providers.

Where It All Stands in Maryland

The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) “awarded” licenses to 10 online sports entities on Nov. 16.  But before any company is “issued” a license by the state’s Lottery & Gaming Control Agency, each must successfully complete a controlled demonstration of operations and procedures and fulfill other requirements.

Of the 10 applicants that SWARC greenlighted on Nov. 16, three have informed Lottery & Gaming they won’t be ready by next week’s initial starting date: Long Shot's (BetFred), Greenmount OTB (PARX Interactive) and Maryland Stadium Sub (FedExField/Fanatics).

It remains to be seen how many of the remaining seven will leave the starting gate Nov. 23. A specific time for when the betting can begin on Nov 23 is expected to be announced early next week.

The others who may start on Nov. 23, so far, are: FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, PointsBet, Rush Street Interactive and PENN Entertainment.

DraftKings Also Has Deal with Ravens

In addition to its association with Baseball Hall of Famer Ripken, whose stellar standing as baseball’s Iron Man for appearing in 2,632 consecutive games has earned him a special place in the hearts of sports fans, DraftKings has been named an Official Sports Betting Sponsor of the Baltimore Ravens.

That business tie-in with the Ravens allows DraftKings to connect with Ravens fans “by offering exciting exclusive game day experiences, autographed merchandise, and opportunities to participate in VIP-focused events during the NFL season,” the company said.

Mobile NFL betting in Maryland will be up and running for the league’s tripleheader on Thanksgiving Day.

In its announcement, DraftKings underscored its commitment to responsible gaming, saying: “DraftKings’ collective mission is to protect consumers with ground-breaking technology, employee training, resources for customers, and the support of evidence-based research.”

Retail sportsbooks have been operating in Maryland since December. So far, sports fans can place bets at eight retail sportsbooks. 

However, if the sports betting experience in Maryland follows that of most other jurisdictions with both retail and online sports wagering, it is anticipated that the amount of handle — meaning total wagers placed — will be eight to 10 times greater on Maryland mobile betting apps compared to in-person betting at a physical sportsbook.

From now until Wednesday and for long after the launch, BetMaryland.com is your go-to site for sports betting info in the state, as well as for Maryland sportsbook promotions.

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A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade.

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