MD Approves 2 More Sports Betting Locations As Casinos Prep For Soft Launch

Posted on December 3, 2021 - Last Updated on January 12, 2022

This week the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC) qualified two venues for retail sports betting in MD.

Officials recently announced the following entities meet the qualification requirements for a sports betting license:

  • Riverboat on the Potomac
  • Long Shot’s

This is a huge win for the two venues. However, they still need approval from the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) before moving forward.

About Riverboat on the Potomac and Long Shot’s

The state had previously designated Riverboat on the Potomac and Long Shot’s as two of 17 facilities eligible to obtain a sports betting license.

As required by law to promote diversity in sports gambling, both venues are small businesses with minority and women owners.

Riverboat on the Potomac is an off-track betting facility, restaurant and lottery retailer located in Colonial, VA. But because the state of Maryland controls the Potomac River, customers are technically in Maryland once they walk onto the riverfront property. Riverboat on the Potomac teamed with PointsBet to provide retail sports betting (and eventually online betting) as part of a 10-year partnership.

Long Shot’s, which is located in Frederick, MDis also an OTB site. Officials for the venue haven’t yet announced any sportsbook partnerships.

Next steps for MD retail sportsbooks

The future of sports betting at Riverboat on the Potomac and Long Shot’s falls in the hands of the SWARC. The commission needs to review both of their applications before awarding a license.

Consequently, we’ve seen that this could take some time.

In October, five casinos in Maryland received preliminary approval from the MLGCC. However, the casinos had to wait nearly a month for the SWARC to sign off.

John Martin, director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency stated

“We’re extremely happy to see these two locally owned businesses move forward, and we’re eager to continue working with them in the coming weeks to launch their sports wagering operations.”

A test run of sports betting for MD casinos

On Nov. 18 five casinos in Maryland received approval for a sports betting license. These casinos now have to successfully go through two days of controlled demonstrations before receiving a license:

Under the observation of MD Lottery & Gaming, guests will participate in live wagering during these demonstrations. Officials will conduct on-site monitoring to ensure that all systems perform as required. They’ll also verify that operational and revenue reporting controls are effective.

If all goes well, these casinos will receive a license.

“Controlled demonstrations are an important final step before sports wagering opens to the public,” Martin stated. “They serve as a dress rehearsal for the facilities and their staffs.”

While dates for these demos have not been released, officials said they are working with the five casinos to schedule them.

“Everything is on pace for the first public openings to happen in December,” Martin stated. “The facilities and the public are eager to get started, and so are we.”

Photo by Shutterstock / ktsdesign
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Chelsea T. Johnson

Chelsea Johnson is a seasoned journalist with experience working as a reporter for WJAC-TV, 105.7 The Fan WJZ-FM, and FOX Sports Radio in Washington, DC. Her work also includes making an impact in the top newsrooms in the country at WBAL-TV in Baltimore and ESPN in Bristol, CT.

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