Maryland became the latest US state to launch a regulated sports betting market as Governor Larry Hogan placed Maryland’s first sports wager at MGM National Harbor on Thursday.

Governor Hogan was joined by Washington Football Legend Joe Theismann and Prince George’s County Council Chair Calvin Hawkins to mark the unveiling of the BetMGM Sportsbook & Lounge, placing the state’s first legal sports wager on an all Maryland Super Bowl, with Washington to win the National Football Conference (NFC) and Baltimore to win the American Football Conference (AFC).

“Today marks the culmination of more than a year of effort to get sports betting up and running here in the state of Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “In addition to allowing Marylanders to bet on football, basketball, 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.”

Prior to yesterday’s launch, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency required two days of controlled sports betting testing at the retail sportsbook.

“The BetMGM Sportsbook & Lounge at MGM National Harbor is a key component to making the Capital Region one of the country’s premier sports betting hubs,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt. “In partnership with the MGM National Harbor team, we’ve designed a world-class destination for sports fans.”

The retail sports betting opening is the culmination of an effort more than a year in the making. Maryland’s voters approved the legalization of sports betting in a November 2020 referendum.

A bill creating the structure of the state’s sports wagering market was passed by the General Assembly in April and signed into law by Governor Hogan in May of this year, with the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) awarding licenses to five facilities last month.

Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore and Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover have been conducting controlled demonstrations this week, and are expected to begin taking wagers later today.

“It’s hard to overstate how exciting this moment is; we couldn’t be happier to see sports wagering get started,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming director John Martin. “It’s a new form of entertainment that we know Marylanders will enjoy, but more importantly, it’s delivering a new stream of revenue for public education in the state. We’re especially proud of that.”


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