The OTB in Frederick, Maryland, that has already been awarded a retail Maryland sports betting license now has an experienced sports wagering partner to help get operations running.
Long Shot’s, an OTB, bar and restaurant, is partnering with Betfred Sportsbook Maryland, the U.S. subsidiary of a UK-based bookmaker, the two companies said in a news release Wednesday. Online betting will be launched when allowed by state regulators, the release said.
Betfred Sports is currently a licensed operator in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Louisiana and Arizona and expects to be approved in Maryland.
If all goes as planned, Long Shot’s and Betfred should be taking wagers in a temporary sportsbook, pending regulatory approval, by the NFL season and have a permanent, 8,800-square-foot, state-of-the-art sportsbook with a video wall and theater-style seating just after the first of the year. The temporary book will consist of in-person betting windows and self-serve betting kiosks.
Long Shot’s is a notable entry on the Maryland sports betting scene because it is a woman-owned business, and Maryland’s sports betting law emphasizes participation by women-owned and minority-owned businesses to expand diversity and inclusion in the state’s emerging sports wagering industry.
"We were at the forefront of bringing sports betting to Maryland and specifically to Frederick. We are thrilled to open a sportsbook at Long Shot's in partnership with Betfred Sports," Long Shot's CEO Alyse Cohen said in a news release. "Long Shot's will not only boost the local economy but contribute to enhancing the education of our students."
"We are proud that Long Shot's is one of the premier off-track betting locations in the state, and we look forward to achieving similar success with sports wagering."
Tax money from gambling in Maryland largely goes toward supporting education.
Long Shot’s already has an OTB in conjunction with the Maryland Jockey Club. It also serves food and beverages.
"We identified Long Shot's very early when searching for a Maryland partner,” Bryan Bennett, Betfred Sports chief operating officer, said in the release. “When combining Betfred's 50 years of bookmaking experience and Long Shot's success with off-track betting, we believe this will be a formidable partnership to compete in the Maryland sports betting space."
Long Shot's has been located within the Frederick Event Center since 2019 when Cohen brought in the Maryland Jockey Club's OTB.
The state has five operating retail sportsbooks so far, all in casinos. In May, the sportsbooks produced a handle of slightly more than $23 million. Revenue was $3.019 million, resulting in $453,000 in state taxes.
More Retail Sportsbooks Set to Launch
Along with Long Shot’s, two other OTBs and a bingo facility have been awarded retail licenses but are still working on getting their sports gambling operations up-and-running.
Getting online sports gambling underway in Maryland has been a time-consuming process. Gov. Larry Hogan has encouraged the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC), which awards licenses, to speed up its work in time for the NFL season.
But a realistic assessment of the situation would indicate Maryland won’t have online sports gambling until sometime next year. SWARC head Thomas Brandt urged patience during an emergency meeting of the group in late June. In Maryland’s two-tiered approval process for sports gambling licenses, while the SWARC awards licenses, the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Commission issues the licenses.