Two casinos in Maryland are one step closer to legal sports betting and plan to launch sportsbooks before ringing in the new year.
That’s according to a rep from the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency, who confirmed the plans with PlayMaryland.
If all goes well, the two casinos will join three other Maryland casino-resorts that launched sports betting this past week.
Controlled demos before casinos launch sportsbooks
Hollywood Casino Perryville (partnered with Barstool Sportsbook) and Ocean Downs (partnered with TwinSpires) will have to undergo controlled demonstrations with MD Lottery & Gaming before launching their sportsbooks.
Each casino looks to get in-person wagering operational before the rollout of full statewide online betting. That mobile betting likely won’t debut in Maryland until the second half of 2022, though.
During the controlled demos, guests will participate in live wagering. MD Lottery officials will conduct on-site monitoring to ensure that all systems perform as required. Officials will also verify that operational and revenue reporting controls are operational within each casino.
Each casino will need to undergo two successful days of controlled demos before they can launch sportsbooks.
Ocean Downs’ demos are scheduled for this week. Hollywood Casino Perryville’s are planned for next week.
If all goes well, Ocean Downs will launch its sportsbook on Friday, Dec. 17. Hollywood Casino Perryville, meanwhile, will launch on Thursday, Dec. 23.
Where Maryland sports betting stands
Maryland is making steady strides to get retail sports betting ready for the NFL Playoffs.
After all, the football postseason is one of the year’s most popular sports-betting options.
Just last week, MGM National Harbor (partnered with BetMGM Online Sportsbook), Horseshoe Casino Baltimore (partnered with Caesars Sportsbook) and Live! Casino & Hotel (teamed with FanDuel Sportsbook) all began offering retail sports betting.
With the additions of Hollywood Casino Perryville and Ocean Downs, sports bettors will soon have five MD casinos where they can place bets.
Additionally early next year, Long Shot’s and Riverboat on the Potomac expect to launch their operations. Last week, the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) approved sports-betting licenses for the two off-track betting sites (OTBs).
Currently, the two venues are completing numerous required tasks prior to launching.