Betfred Ending Operations in Maryland

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Corbin Burnes #39 of the Baltimore Orioles sits in the dugout after being relieved from the game against the Washington Nationals. Scott Taetsch/Getty Images/AFP

The British gambling company Betfred will stop offering sports betting in Maryland at the end of the month. 

They’ve been operating there since 2022, but now they’re exiting the market completely by July 31, less than a year after the operator was granted licenses for both online and retail wagering by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission.

This decision comes after Betfred’s mobile sports betting app failed to gain significant traction in The Old Line State.

Betfred Struggled in Maryland From The Jump

Betfred Maryland has struggled to compete with larger players in the state’s sports betting market since joining the market last year. It all started when the company conducted a “controlled demonstration” of its product in Maryland in 2023. After the successful demonstration, it obtained a license from the Maryland State Lottery & Gaming Control Agency to officially launch on November 18 of the same year.

The sportsbook partnered with Long Shot, a 6,300-square-foot facility in Frederick, Maryland. However, despite these efforts, Betfred Maryland has faced challenges in attracting users. In May, their total wagering activity was less than $500,000.

In contrast, other sportsbooks like FanDuel Maryland accepted approximately $195.2 million in bets, while DraftKings Maryland saw $137.7 million in wagers during the same month. Additionally, four other sportsbooks in Maryland handled more than $10 million in bets, indicating that residents preferred promotions from those operators.

Maryland sportsbooks’ May handle saw an increase of nearly 35% year over year.

New Operators Entering the Maryland Market

Although Betfred plans to exit the Maryland market, three new operators are set to get in.

  • Veterans Services Corporation (VSC) is set to enter on July 1. VSC, operated by Bee-Fee Limited, recently completed a controlled demonstration with the lottery on May 24. They intend to accept wagers statewide starting next month.
  • Bally Bet is also preparing for its Maryland launch, expected in July. This comes shortly after the app’s anticipated June launch in Massachusetts. 
  • Betr is seeking online sports betting licensure in Maryland. However, approval from the state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) is required before proceeding to a controlled demonstration. The SWARC’s upcoming meeting, the first since October 2023, may determine Betr’s next steps for its mobile license. The official agenda for the meeting has not been shared yet.

Maryland law permits up to 60 online platforms, including those affiliated with professional sports teams and small businesses. Lottery partners can also opt to install kiosks at their establishments.