Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has ratified its previously announced agreement with Maryland sports betting brand, Crab Sports, as Maryland opens its mobile sports betting licensing process.
The formalization of the deal comes after the signing of an initial head of terms agreement in June, where GiG offered the use of its platform and sportsbook to the Maryland-facing Crab Sports
The agreement is the first US deal of its kind for GiG since the business’s April acquisition of Sportnco, along with its in-house turnkey sportsbook.
GiG CEO Richard Brown said: “I am excited to be partnering with a localized brand like Crab Sports in Maryland, US. We view the Maryland and the wider US market as a strong opportunity given our expertise in personalization and building a unique customer experience.”
Brown continued, expanded on the company’s strategy to compete against larger operators.
“We believe we can partner with brands, such as Crab Sports, and truly provide them with a differentiation on the market and help them compete against the nationwide tier one players. We look forward to working with the excellent team at Crab Sports to help build a brand and an experience that will stand out in Maryland.”
The application process begins
The announcement comes days after Maryland’s sports wagering application review commission (SWARC) announced that it had opened the application process for mobile sports betting in the state, following months of delays.
SWARC stated that the application fee for mobile sports betting will be $500,000.
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency announced that 60 sports betting licenses will be available.
SWARC will begin reviewing applications on 21 October, marking the end of the 45-day application period that opened on 6 September.
While Maryland voters approved sports wagering via referendum in November 2020, with governor Larry Hogan signing a bill legalizing both retail and online betting in April 2021, the practical implementation has been marred by a number of delays, many caused by the complex legislation passed into law.
While retail betting is now open, online betting is yet to launch – over 18 months after the initial referendum. In June, Hogan urged the commission to speed up the process.
In an open letter to SWARC, addressing the delays, Hogan said: “Instead of decisive action to implement the voters’ decision, you have allowed the progress to stagnate and become mired in overly bureaucratic procedures that have needlessly delayed the state’s ability to maximize the revenue potential of this growing industry.”