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Maryland sports betting goes live with MGM National Harbor launch

BetMGM sports betting news

The Maryland sports betting industry is finally up and running with the launch of a retail sportsbook at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill on Thursday afternoon.

The MGM Resorts-owned casino opened at 12.30pm following a grand opening ceremony graced by Governor Larry Hogan and former NFL star Joe Thiesmann. The Governor and retired quarterback also placed the first ceremonial bets at the facility, marking the state’s first legal sports wagers.

The BetMGM Sportsbook and Lounge at MGM National Harbor features seven live betting windows, 17 self-service terminals, a 360-degree jumbotron, and a state-of-the-art 110-foot wraparound screen. The venue also offers theatre seating and mobile food and beverage ordering for those who would like to enjoy a cocktail or game day meal as they watch their favorite teams play.

The book will open from 11am to 1am Sunday to Thursday, and 11am to 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Live! Casino and Horseshoe gearing up for Friday launch

In addition to MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino in Hanover and Horseshoe Casino Baltimore are also on schedule to start accepting bets this weekend.

Live! Casino is putting the final touches on its FanDuel sportsbook, which will be located in its Sports & Social sports bar. The book will open at 9.30am Friday with a colorful ribbon cutting ceremony. The ceremonial first bet at the venue will be placed by former NFL star and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ed Reed, and Gov. Hogan is also expected to be present at the event.

Horseshoe Casino is also looking forward to launching in-person sports betting on Friday following regulatory approval. The Caesars Entertainment-owned facility kicked off its two-day soft launch on Wednesday, and it could be cleared to open to the public on Friday if all goes well.

The soft launch is conducted under the supervision of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, and it is the final hurdle for any operator looking to offer sports betting in the state. The controlled demonstrations are carried out to ensure that operators have complied with all regulations set by the Commission, and also to make sure there are no glitches in the systems.

Among those invited to grace the opening of the new Caesars Sportsbook at Horseshoe Baltimore are Gov. Hogan, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, former NBA star Tyrone Curtis ‘Muggsy’ Bogues, and former Baltimore Ravens players Adalius Thomas and Torrey Smith.

Penn National’s Hollywood Casino Perryville and the Churchill Downs-owned Oceans Downs Casino in Berlin have also been granted sports betting licenses by Maryland regulators, but they are yet to announce when they will start operations.

SWARC approves two more venues for sports betting

Two more venues have received sports betting operator licenses from the Sports Wagering Application Review Committee, bringing the total number of approved facilities in the state to seven.

The special seven-member committee gave its blessings to the Riverboat on the Potomac and Long Shot’s in Frederick, paving the way for the two facilities to start the process of launching in-person betting.

The Riverboat on the Potomac will partner with Australian-based PointsBet for its sportsbook, following an exclusive agreement with the operator in June. Long Shot’s partner is yet to be known.

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