Two Maryland OTBs Now Taking Sports Bets

Two Maryland off-track betting facilities not tied to racetracks or casinos have commenced retail sports betting operations after having their licenses approved by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission and the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission.

Riverboat on the Potomac, which partnered with PointsBet, launched sports betting in early September. Greenmount Station, located in Carroll County, took its first sports wagers Oct. 28 in partnership with betPARX (Parx Interactive). On Oct. 28, PointsBet and betPARX were among 10 entities deemed as qualified for a mobile license by the MLGC.

Under the 2021 law that authorized sports betting in the state, the four non-track or non-casino OTBs were specifically listed as eligible for sports betting licenses. There are separate fees for retail and mobile licenses.

Greenmount OTB, which has offered pari-mutuel wagering on horse races since December 2017, is a partnership between Chris Richards’ Greenmount Station restaurant and Greenmount Bowl in Hampstead. The adjacent properties were a good fit for a sports betting license given the state’s desire to award many licenses to small businesses that normally may not be able to participate in expanded gambling.

Long Shot’s BBQ, an OTB facility in Frederick owned by Alyse Cohen, has received a sport wagering license and expects to be accepting sports bets before the end of 2022. Long Shot’s has partnered with Betfred Sportsbook, which is the wholly-owned United States subsidiary of Betfred Group, a bookmaker that owns and operates more than 1,500 betting shops in the United Kingdom.

Five casinos—MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino and Hotel, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, Hollywood Casino Perryville and Ocean Downs Casino—offer retail sports betting, as do the two OTBs and Bingo World. From July, the start of fiscal 2023, through September, $65.5 million had been wagered on sports at the facilities; the taxable “win”—the amount left after payment to patrons—was $11.7 million.

Live! Casino in Anne Arundel County led the way with $26.1 million in bets, followed by MGM at $18.2 million and Horseshoe Baltimore at $11.7 million during the three-month period.

The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund receives 15% of sports betting revenue, while operators keep 85%. As has been the case in many other states, the vast majority of handle in Maryland will be generated by the mobile component. The MLGC has indicated mobile wagering could be launched in late November or early December of this year.

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