Action taken by the state Lottery & Gaming Control Commission on Thursday helped advance the efforts for a retail Maryland sports betting operation that’s expected to open in North Bethesda.
Separately, a commission approval accommodated a transfer in corporate ownership for the operations of the sportsbook for the Riverboat on the Potomac. That facility is docked at Colonial Beach, Virginia, but floats in Charles County, Maryland waters.
Also, the commission voted to approve the consummation of the acquisition of ASF Limited by Entain Holdings (UK) Limited. ASF provides specialist pricing and risk management services to sports wagering operators. Entain Holdings is a partner with MGM Resorts International in the ownership of BetMGM, a major online gambling operator that includes the online and retail BetMGM Maryland Sportsbook.
New Sportsbook at Sports & Social Bethesda
Regarding the sportsbook in North Bethesda, the commission found Betfair/FanDuel qualified for a sports wagering facility operator license to operate a retail sportsbook for Whitman Gaming, Inc., at the Sports & Social Bethesda sports bar. That’s at 11800 Grand Park Ave.
It was a likely finding considering that in November 2021, the commission had determined that Betfair Interactive/FanDuel was qualified for a sports wagering facility operator License to operate the retail sportsbook at Live! Casino Hotel in Hanover. FanDuel currently operates the Live! sportsbook at the casino as well as the online operation that offers the FanDuel Maryland promo.
In one of two acquisition agreement votes, the commission also voted that Fanatics was qualified to acquire PointsBet.
Background on Riverboat On The Potomac
The background on that is that the Riverboat on the Potomac had initially partnered with PointsBet to be its operator for both retail and online sports wagering. However, it hasn’t taken long for some corporate reshuffling to occur in the still-evolving sports betting business in the United States, and this past summer PointsBet agreed to sell its U.S. business to Fanatics for $225 million.
The commission had previously found Fanatics qualified as a sportsbook operator in connection with FedExField, home of the NFL’s Washington Commanders. As betting on NFL cranks up, turn to BetMaryland.com for the best Maryland sports betting promos.
Apparently, customers at the stadium should notice little difference.
“Fanatics is acquiring PointsBet Maryland in its entirety; however, after the purchase agreement closes, PointsBet Maryland will remain the sports wagering facility operator and the online sports wagering operator in Maryland,” the commission’s staff noted. “Approval of the purchase agreement will allow sports wagering operations that PointsBet Maryland currently conducts to continue.”
As previously noted, the other acquisition agreement approved by the commission was for Entain Holdings (UK) Limited acquisition of ASF Limited.
Betfred Gets Permission To Expand
In other Maryland sports gaming news, the Betfred Maryland Sportsbook received permission to expand the operation that it runs in partnership with Long Shot’s, a restaurant/sports bar in Frederick that is licensed for a retail sportsbook.
Regarding the bricks-and-mortar casino industry, Horseshoe Baltimore received permission for a permanent reduction in slot machines from a currently approved 1,600 to 1,400. The aim is to provide a more comfortable gaming environment for customers.
Hollywood Casino Perryville also received permission for a temporary reduction in slot machines during its renovation.
Representatives from all six physical casinos in the state, during their presentations typically given during commission meetings, said that a summer slowdown in business was almost universal. The same is true for online Maryland betting apps.
A representative from MGM National Harbor offered that large-picture economic factors could be responsible, such as inflation and more attractive savings interest rates that may have customers choosing to divert money toward savings.