If betting on Bingo balls isn’t your thing, you’ll soon have plenty of other ball games to wager on at Bingo World in Baltimore. Maryland’s largest bingo hall has partnered with Rush Street Interactive (RSI) to open the first non-casino retail sportsbook in the state.
The sportsbook will operate under the BetRivers brand and officially become the sixth retail betting location in the state. This addition to Maryland’s retail betting scene gives bettors one more in-person option as the prospect of online betting continues to drag on.
“We are so excited and honored to be the first operator outside of a casino to offer Maryland residents a retail sportsbook,” said Randy Clemens, President of Bingo World, in a press release. “Together with our partners at RSI, we can offer bettors a world-class in-person sports betting experience at the BetRivers sportsbook and lounge.”
Anyone 21 and over will be able to place bets at one of the site’s three over-the-counter machines or 12 self-serve kiosks. Players will be able to bet on US and international sports, as well as options like parlays, in-game betting, and prop bets.
A State-of-the-Art Experience
The newly opened BetRivers Sportsbook is a sprawling 3,000 square feet and features 32 theater-style seats where patrons can watch the games on 21 high-definition screens. The lounge area comes equipped with a fully stocked bar, high-top seating, and boards streaming BetRivers odds.
“We are thrilled to partner with Bingo World to launch the BetRivers retail sportsbook in the state of Maryland,” said Richard Schwartz, Chief Executive Officer of RSI. “With Bingo World’s brand recognition in the Baltimore area, the easy-to-access venue, and RSI’s award-winning products and services, we look forward to delivering convenient and exciting sports betting options to retail customers and are excited about building trust and loyalty as they become familiar with our award-winning product.”
More Maryland Retail Sportsbooks on the Way
It’s likely that folks in the Old Line State will see more retail sportsbooks before they see any online betting. Betfred Sports and Long Shot’s recently announced a partnership that will see another non-casino sportsbook open this September near the Maryland Jockey Club’s off-track betting site.
Two other off-track betting sites, Riverboat on the Potomac and Greenmount Station, have been awarded licenses but have not yet completed the approval process. Maryland now has six live in-person sportsbooks, but the state has the potential for up to 47 retail sports betting licenses and 60 online licenses.
Delay of Online Betting Proving Costly
Sports betting in Maryland launched on Dec. 9, 2021, and the state is still waiting on mobile wagering to go live. The delay of online betting has been the longest among US legal states and has sparked Governor Larry Hogan’s ire. He leaned on the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) to speed up the process in a strongly-worded letter back in June.
Since the inception of legalized sports betting in Maryland, the state has collected approximately $2.9 million in tax revenue (as of July), relying solely on its five active retail sports betting facilities. In the same span, neighboring Virginia (which has online betting) has collected over $15 million in tax revenue. Both states share the same 15% sports betting tax levy.
SWARC has its next public meeting scheduled for Aug. 17, and there is hope that it will announce that it will soon be accepting applications for mobile sports betting licenses.
However, with the summer slipping away, it seems unlikely that Maryland will have online betting by the start of the NFL season, as demanded by Gov. Hogan.