Bingo World Sportsbook Opens As Ex-Raven Ismail Places 1st Bet

Bingo World Sportsbook Opens As Ex-Raven Ismail Places 1st Bet
By Bill Ordine
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The first outlet for retail sports betting in Maryland outside of a casino had its ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday. Bingo World in Anne Arundel County, just outside of Baltimore, opens its sports betting lounge with partner Rush Street Interactive.

Placing the first sports wager at Bingo World, a bingo facility that opened in 1987, was former Baltimore Ravens receiver Qadry "the Missile" Ismail, who helped the Ravens to a world championship in Super Bowl XXXV.

The BetRivers Sportsbook Maryland at Bingo World is 3,000 square feet and features a lounge area with 32 theater-style seats and 12 self-service kiosks as well as three over-the-counter machines to place wagers. There’s a bar with high tops and for betting enthusiasts, 21 hi-definition video screens and streaming BetRivers odds boards.

"We are so excited and honored to be the first operator outside of a casino to offer Maryland residents a retail sportsbook," Bingo World President Randy Clemens said. "Together with our partners at RSI, we can offer bettors a world-class in-person sports betting experience at the BetRivers Sportsbook and lounge."



Five Casinos Also Have Retail Sportsbooks

Until now, sports betting in Maryland has been exclusively at five casinos with their own sportsbooks — Live Hotel and Casino in Hanover, the Horseshoe Baltimore, MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin and Hollywood Casino in Perryville.

Those five casinos combined for about $19.1 million in June for sports betting handle.

For months, sports betting licenses have been issued to four smaller businesses, Bingo World and three OTBs in the state. Of those smaller businesses, Bingo World is the first to start accepting bets. The others are still in the process of completing the final phases of beginning operations.

Maryland online sports betting apps have also been legalized but a complicated licensing process has delayed the launch of internet sports gambling until at least late this year, and possibly stretching into 2023.

In the meantime, Marylanders can place a variety of wagers — including parlays, prop bets and in-game bets — at retail sportsbooks, including now at Bingo World.

BetRivers Director of B2B Services Adam Glass, Maryland State Sen. Pamela Beidle, Maryland Del. Nicholaus Kipke, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman and longtime Bingo World customer Myra Harris took part in the ribbon-cutting of the new sportsbook.

Ismail Memorable For Super Bowl Play

Ravens fans will remember Ismail for his 44-yard reception in Super Bowl XXXV that led to a Baltimore field goal as the Ravens romped to a 34-7 win over the New York Giants.

"This new sportsbook is a huge win for avid sports fans in Baltimore and beyond," Ismail said in a news release. “Betting has become such a big part of the sports world and now Ravens fans and other bettors can come here to be entertained and enjoy the wide variety of betting options BetRivers will offer."

But with the pace of regulation in the state, Maryland NFL betting is not looking like a likely eventuality for the 2022 season.

RSI Expanding in U.S. Market

Rush Street Interactive is an established name in the emergent U.S. sports betting industry. Through its brands, BetRivers, PlaySugarHouse and RushBet, RSI currently offers sports gambling in 13 U.S. states, as well as in Canada, Colombia and Mexico.

"We are thrilled to partner with Bingo World to launch the BetRivers retail sportsbook in the state of Maryland," RSI CEO Richard Schwartz said. "With Bingo World's brand recognition in the Baltimore area, the easy-to-access venue, and RSI's award-winning products and services, we look forward to delivering convenient and exciting sports betting options to retail customers and are excited about building trust and loyalty as they become familiar with our award-winning product."

Bingo World is just south of Baltimore City in Brooklyn Park, about 15 minutes from the famous Inner Harbor retail and dining tourist attraction.

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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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