Editor's Note: This story was updated to include the BetMGM Sportsbook opening date.
Maryland sports fans will finally be able to place a sports bet legally this week when three casinos open their sportsbooks. The first is expected to be Thursday at the BetMGM Sportsbook at MGM National Harbor, pending final regulatory approval.
That opening will be followed by the FanDuel Sportsbook at Sports and Social Maryland in the Live! Casino & Hotel opens for business at 9:30 a.m. Friday, also pending regulatory approval.
Later that day, the Horseshoe Baltimore will open its Caesars Sportsbook for Maryland gaming if all goes as planned with regulatory approval.
Gov. Larry Hogan, who has pushed for the start of Maryland sports betting, will reportedly be at all three openings.
Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann will join Hogan at MGM National Harbor near Washington, D.C., on Thursday for the first bet. The 8,000 square-foot BetMGM Sportsbook will have 17 betting kiosks and seven betting windows.
Former Baltimore Raven Ed Reed, a Pro Football Hall of Fame safety, will place the ceremonial first bet at Live! Casino & Hotel during a special ribbon cutting ceremony.
Live! Casino Has Been Prepared For Sports Betting
The setting at Live! Casino & Hotel is a new sportsbook, sports bar and restaurant that cost millions to assemble and has been ready for months. The 14,000-square-foot sports lounge features a 100-foot-wide media screen as its centerpiece.
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 who want to get down to betting business, especially with the AFC North-leading Ravens and more Maryland NFL betting opportunities in full swing, the FanDuel Sportsbook at Live! Casino will have five betting windows, one VIP window, and 26 self-service betting kiosks.
Baltimore Horseshoe Casino on Track With Caesars
Baltimore Horseshoe Casino, featuring a Caesars Sportsbook, which the casino has been putting together as the regulatory process has been playing out, will open Friday. The theme at the Horseshoe will be a brew pub concept. Hogan will be part of the ceremony there. Also on the reported celebrity list at the Horseshoe are Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, former Ravens Torrey Smith and Adalius Thomas, and Baltimore native and former NBA star Muggsy Bogues.
Before any of the retail sportsbooks can launch, they must conduct controlled demonstrations under the watch of the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency.
Also approved for retail sportsbooks in Maryland are the Hollywood Casino in Perryville, and Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin.
The much-awaited beginning of online sports betting in Maryland isn’t expected to launch until sometime in 2022.
Elsewhere, FanDuel Group, Boyd Gaming and Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel in Vinton, Louisiana, will open the FanDuel Sportsbook at Delta Downs on Thursday, also pending regulatory approvals.
That grand opening in Louisiana will also have a Maryland flavor with Hall of Fame linebacker Randy White, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys, doing the honors. White played at the University of Maryland in the early 1970s before going on to play for the Cowboys.