Maryland’s sports betting enthusiasts can now celebrate after the sports betting launch on December 9 in the afternoon. Five of the six brick-and-mortar casinos in Maryland now have sportsbook licenses after several months of dragging the issue.
All the casinos accepted their first legal sports bets except for Horseshoe Baltimore Casino and Live! Casino Hotel Maryland near BWI airport plans to launch its sportsbooks today.
The National Football League legend Joe Theismann alongside the state’s governor placed their first bets at National Harbors BetMGM Sportsbook. Governor Larry Hogan was excited about the moment, declaring it marked the end of years of efforts it took to legalize sports betting in Maryland.
Each casino had to pay a one-time license fee of $500k upfront. The state will tax 15 percent to the gross sportsbook revenue, which, like casino revenue, will benefit the education system in Maryland.
Minority-Owned Business Participation
Following the complexity of the sports betting laws of Maryland, the issuance process of operating licenses was long and tedious. The state’s sports betting laws are among the top of the list of the most complex rules among 33 states with regulated gambling.
One of these laws allows six casinos to run sportsbooks and create opportunities for small or minority-owned businesses to run similar betting services. Explaining the delays, some officials of the Sports Wagering Application and Review Commission (SWARC) said some of these businesses wanted the licenses to be granted at the same time.
SWARC had to accelerate the issuance process of the sportsbook licenses to casinos after their operators aired their frustrations and tedious process. The commission also hastened reviewing applications from a small business wanting to run sportsbooks.
The First Woman-Owned Sportsbook
Alongside the launch of the casino sportsbooks, SWARC said it had issued a sportsbook license to a business owned by a woman. This is the first time in the history of the USA for a woman to own a sportsbook.
The approval of the sports betting services at Long Shot’s restaurant and betting Parlor in Frederick is a significant achievement. Alyse Cohen, the business owner, said she was thrilled to be a pioneer in the thriving sports betting industry.
Long Shot’s was launched in 2019 and has offered off-track betting since. The sports betting law allows such businesses to partner with a licensed sportsbook operator to offer online sports betting. The state can issue around 60 online sportsbook licenses to brands such as FanDuel, DraftKings, and Caesars.
However, Alyse did not reveal who she had partnered with to offer sports betting. For now, the restaurant can install sports betting kiosks. But, it has to wait until the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission Board to approve it to start offering betting services.
The First University to Partner With Sports Betting Firms
Maryland also prides itself on hosting the first Big Ten school partnering with sports betting firms. The Maryland University has partnered with the PointsBet and Terps to allow the sportsbook company to appear at the school’s athletic events.
PointsBet is slowly becoming popular in the Maryland market for its partnership with the Riverboat on the Potomac. The Riverboat is the second and the only other small business to have sports betting privileges.
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