Maryland Sports Betting To Launch At 3 Casino Sportsbooks This Week
David Caraviello | 3 mins
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Legal sports betting finally arrives in Maryland this week as three sportsbooks are set to open their doors.
Maryland sports betting is expected to debut on Thursday with the BetMGM Sportsbook at MGM National Harbor, assuming it gets final regulatory approval. Next up will be FanDuel Sportsbook at Live! Casino Hotel and Caesars Sportsbook at Horseshoe Baltimore, which are scheduled to open to public wagering on Friday, pending final approval from state regulators.
The BetMGM Sportsbook will feature a 110-foot wraparound screen, according to the facility’s website. It will have seven betting windows, 17 betting kiosks and a capacity of 350 people, Washington Business Journal reported.
The ribbon-cuttings come six months after Maryland sports betting was legalized in May, when Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill that easily passed the state legislature and permits as many as 30 retail and 60 online operators to take wagers. Sports betting had previously been supported in a public referendum.
Regulatory red tape prevented the state from launching sportsbooks in time for the start of the current NFL season. Sports betting finally began to gain traction in the late fall, with the state holding controlled demonstrations on Dec. 7 at five retail locations that had received betting licenses, in anticipation of a Dec. 10 launch.
Wait Continues for Maryland Mobile Betting
Two other Maryland casinos that have been granted sports betting licenses by the state, Hollywood Casino in Perryville and Ocean Downs in Berlin, are also readying to offer sports betting, the Baltimore Sun reported.
But any sports betting done in Maryland at the moment can only be conducted in person. Although Maryland eventually plans to offer mobile licenses, they’re not expected to be granted until sometime in 2022. Betting apps will be key in keeping Maryland competitive with neighboring Pennsylvania and nearby New Jersey, both early adopters of the practice.
Betting sites will offer bonuses for new bettors, and with so many hoping to go live in the state, the promotions should be top-notch. For example, currently the BetMGM bonus code unlocks a $1,000 risk-free first bet while the Caesars Sportsbook promo code delivers a first-bet match up to $1,001.
‘We Expect Very Long Lines’
The sportsbooks themselves are certainly ready. According to its website, the FanDuel Sportsbook at Live! Casino Hotel will allow wagering at any of 10 betting windows of 31 self-service kiosks. Kiosk wagering will be available 24 hours a day, with a $5 minimum bet. The sportsbook will take wagers on all major U.S. sports and a majority of international sports but will not offer betting on horse racing.
General manager Randy Conroy of Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, which houses Caesars Sportsbook, told a local TV station, “Ee expect some very long lines” for Friday’s opening. The maximum bet at any Maryland location will be $5 million on any one sporting event.
The first bet at FanDuel Sportsbook at Live! Casino Hotel will be made by former Baltimore Ravens great Ed Reed, according to The Baltimore Sun, with Hogan also in attendance. Caesar’s Sportsbook at Horseshoe Baltimore will have Hogan, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, former Ravens stars Torrey Smith and Adalius Thomas, and former NBA player Muggsy Bogues on hand for its grand opening, the Sun reported.