Maryland Sports Betting Has Approval of 2 New Retail Sportsbooks

Maryland Sports Betting Has Approval of 2 New Retail Sportsbooks
By Lou Monaco

Two more retail sportsbook locations will prepare to join the Maryland sports betting scene after approval Wednesday by the state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC).

Riverboat on the Potomac, which is a licensed off-track simulcast and betting facility for horse racing and a minority-owned small business located in Charles County, Maryland, has been awarded a license for a retail sportsbook (PointsBet Maryland) and is expected to open in early 2022.

PointsBet Maryland announced in June its partnership with Riverboat and was awaiting regulatory approval.

Long Shot’s, an off-track-betting facility in Frederick, was also granted a license.

Long Shot’s is the first and only 100% woman-owned Maryland gaming entity named in the sports wagering law that was eligible for a retail license.

Thursday's two approved licenses now make seven in the state.

“I am thrilled to be a trailblazer for a diverse and successful sports betting industry in the state of Maryland,” Alyse Cohen, owner of Long Shot’s, said in a news release. “We have exciting plans for our retail sportsbook that will make it a centerpiece to the economic and cultural vibrancy of the fastest-growing county in the state. I appreciate the staff at the Maryland Lottery for working with Long Shot’s through the rigorous licensing process. We also look forward to working with the SWARC as the state establishes a mobile sports betting market that meets the goals of the legislature.”

Opened in 2019, Long Shot’s quickly has become one of Maryland’s top OTB locations.

“My family and our businesses have been Frederick, Maryland based since 1948. I am proud to continue our commitment to the community, state and its residents by being at the forefront of the burgeoning legal sports wagering industry,” Cohen said.

Other Retail Spots Open This Week

Maryland sports fans will finally be able to place a sports bet legally this week when three casinos open their sportsbooks. The first will be Thursday at the BetMGM Sportsbook at MGM National Harbor, followed by the FanDuel Sportsbook at Sports and Social Maryland in the Live! Casino & Hotel on Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Also on Friday, the Horseshoe Baltimore will open its Caesars Sportsbook for Maryland gaming.

All three are awaiting regulatory approvals and the go-ahead to open.

Gov. Larry Hogan hopes to be at all three openings.

Hogan will be joined by former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann at MGM National Harbor near Washington, D.C., for the first bet on Thursday. The 8,000 square-foot BetMGM Sportsbook will have 17 betting kiosks and seven betting windows.

Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed, formerly with the Baltimore Ravens, will place the ceremonial first bet at Live! Casino & Hotel during a special ribbon cutting ceremony.

Live! Going Big with Lounge, Media Screen

Live! Casino & Hotel will have a new sportsbook, sports bar and restaurant that has been ready for months. The centerpiece of the 14,000-square-foot sports lounge is a 100-foot-wide media screen.

The “Sports & Social” concept was created by the Cordish Cos., owner of the casino-hotel in Hanover next to the Arundel Mills Mall. The Maryland version of “Sports & Social” also has two main bars, luxury viewing chairs, and VIP areas. It even has a duck pin alley, a Baltimore and Maryland favorite.

For fans interested in Maryland NFL betting on the Ravens or other teams, the FanDuel Sportsbook at Live! Casino will have five betting windows, one VIP window, and 26 self-service betting kiosks.

Horseshoe Has Caesars, Brewpub

Baltimore Horseshoe Casino opens its Caesars Sportsbook with a brewpub concept on Friday.

Hogan plans to be part of that ceremony, along with reported guests such as Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore native and former NBA guard Muggsy Bogues and a pair of former Ravens, Torrey Smith and Adalius Thomas.

The other approved retail sportsbooks in Maryland are the Hollywood Casino in Perryville and Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin.

No retail sportsbooks can launch until conducting controlled demonstrations overseen by the  Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

The much-awaited beginning of online sports betting in Maryland isn’t expected to launch until sometime in 2022.

Big Ten’s Maryland Has Sportsbook Partner

In other news on Wednesday, the University of Maryland became the first Big Ten school to partner with a sportsbook.

PointsBet and Maryland announced a multi-year partnership Wednesday. It's the first such deal for the University of Maryland.

Maryland joins a small but growing list of universities to do the same, including Colorado (also PointsBet), Denver (SportsBook) and Louisiana State (Caesars).

The deal with PointsBet Sportsbook Maryland includes education for responsible gambling and problem gambling for Terrapins students, staff and fans, according to a news release.

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Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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