Sports betting began in Maryland on Thursday after multiple delays as Gov. Larry Hogan put money on an all-Maryland Super Bowl between the Washington Football Team and the Baltimore Ravens.
A state commission granted the first sports betting licenses for five casinos last month, about seven months after lawmakers approved legislation for implementation and about a year after it was approved in a statewide vote with 67% of voters supporting it.
Hogan cast the first sports wager at MGM National Harbor’s BetMGM Sportsbook & Lounge, a bet on Washington and Baltimore both making it to the Super Bowl, Hogan tweeted.
“Today marks the culmination of years of effort to get sports betting up and running here in the State of Maryland,” Hogan said in a statement. “In addition to allowing Marylanders to bet on the NFL, March Madness and more, sports betting will also help to keep more dollars in-state and will provide another critical revenue source for public education without raising taxes on families and small businesses.”
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The Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore and the Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover plan to open in-person sports betting on Friday.
On Wednesday, the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission approved licenses for two other facilities: The Riverboat on the Potomac and Long Shot’s in Frederick.
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A group of 17 facilities were given the first chance to apply for in-person licenses in the state. Racetracks, off-track betting venues and bingo halls also were included. An additional 30 in-person licenses also are allowed under the law, along with 60 more licenses for mobile online betting.
Many states near Maryland, including Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia and Virginia, already have approved sports betting since a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing it in 2018.
There is a 15% state tax on the revenue, which is projected to total about $100 million annually when sports betting is fully operational, with about $15 million for the state and $85 million for the businesses.