Legal sports betting in Maryland is getting closer with the announcement that five retail sportsbooks will undergo a soft launch before the end of the month.
As the last step before they open to the public, all sports betting facilities have to complete two days of “controlled demonstrations.” Each facility will invite guests to participate in live wagering while the Maryland Lottery and Gaming staff observes.
“Controlled demonstrations are an important final step before sports wagering opens to the public,” MLG Director John Martin said in a prepared statement. “They serve as a dress rehearsal for the facilities and their staffs, and they allow Maryland Lottery and Gaming to assure the public that these operations are ready to go.”
Sports Betting Public Opening Expected In December
During the controlled demonstrations, the MLG staff will conduct on-site monitoring to ensure all systems perform as required and to verify that operational and revenue reporting controls are effective.
“Everything is on pace for the first public openings to happen in December,” Martin said. “The facilities and the public are eager to get started, and so are we.”
Here are the five retail sportsbooks that will undergo soft launches this month:
- Hollywood Casino in Perryville
- Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore
- Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover
- MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill
- Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin
Two More Locations Approved For Licenses
Two retail sportsbook locations have been approved for licenses by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission. It’s expected that Riverboat on the Potomac in Colonial Beach, Virginia, and Long Shot’s in Frederick, Maryland will open in December pending final review by the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission.
Riverboat on the Potomac is stationed in Virginia, but its retail sportsbook area will be located in the part of the riverboat that is located in Maryland waters.
“We’re extremely happy to see these two locally owned businesses move forward, and we’re eager to continue working with them in the coming weeks to launch their sports wagering operations,” Martin said.
Maryland Sports Betting Recap And Update
The governor signed sports betting into law in May 2021, and following arduous efforts to establish licensure and regulation, Maryland is expected to offer as many as 60 mobile betting apps and 47 retail sportsbooks. Those numbers would be the highest in the United States.
Due to its proximity to several neighboring states such as Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, it’s anticipated that a healthy and competitive sports betting market in Maryland would draw people from surrounding areas.
The mobile sports betting market is expected to take longer to launch in Maryland and may not launch until later in 2022.