Betr receives initial approval to operate in Maryland

Maryland House Bill
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Micro-betting specialists Betr has received initial approval from the Maryland Lottery to receive a sports betting license in the state.

The operator, founded by Jake Paul and Simplebet founder Joe Levy, still needs further approval before it can go live. The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission will also have to give the green light before the firm receives a license.

Betr was a notable omission when online sports betting launched in Maryland at the end of 2022. At the time it was unclear whether Betr had failed to apply for a license or it had not gained approval from regulators.

Soon, pending final approvals, Betr will be entering a growing market. By the end of March, Maryland’s sports betting handle for the 2024 fiscal year had doubled year-over-year, surpassing $4 billion. 

The state is currently home to 13 retail sportsbooks and 11 sports betting apps, including heavyweights DraftKings and FanDuel which have dominated the online sports betting market since launch. Notable newcomers in 2023 were Fanatics Sportsbook and ESPN Bet.  

Regulators question Betr’s finances

Lottery commissioners discussed Betr’s financial troubles during the approval process. The lottery’s managing director of the regulatory oversight division, John Mooney, described the company’s early financial performance as “poor” after the firm reported a net loss of approximately $32 million in 2023.

Betr countered by explaining that it had improved its financials in 2024 and told regulators it expects to be profitable in 2025, as well as citing its backing from funding sources. In March, the company announced that it had secured $15 million in strategic equity financing which valued the company at $375 million. 

Commissioner Harold Hodges also voiced concerns over Betr’s finances and eventually voted against Betr receiving a license. However, there was enough support among commissioners for the license approval process to continue.

Betr exits Massachusetts

At the beginning of the year, Betr exited Massachusetts as part of its wider expansion plan. It notified the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that it planned to leave the state by Feb. 16. Betr struggled to gain a foothold in Massachusetts, accounting for less than 1% of market share.

Betr Sportsbook is currently only live in Virginia and Ohio. It also has future plans to go live in Colorado, Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.