BALTIMORE, Md. — The wait is almost over for sports betting in Maryland as sports fans could start legally placing their bets on their favorite team as soon as Friday.
State gaming officials started touring the state's five largest casinos this week before they will grant final approval on sports betting.
Casino operators are doing betting demonstrations with state officials who
visited Live! casino in Anne Arudel County on Monday. Officials will drop by the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore on Tuesday.
Sports fans and gamblers have been waiting for this week for a while.
In November 2020, Maryland voters supported a measure to allow sports betting.
In April 2021, the General Assembly passed legalized sports betting at the end of this year’s session.
By October 2021, the Lottery and Gaming Commission had approved five casino operators in Maryland for sports betting but did not grant their licenses.
In November 2021, the state's Sports Wagering Application Review Commission awarded sports betting licenses to the state's five largest casinos.
Besides the Horseshoe Casino, the other venues are Maryland Live!; MGM National Harbor; Hollywood Casino; and Ocean Downs Casino.
Even with their licenses approved, the betting demonstrations are taking place at all five casinos this week for final approval.
Pending final approval, Maryland Live! already is encouraging sports fans to come for its planned opening on Friday to place bets on all major U.S. sports and majority of international sports including football, basketball, baseball, hockey, golf, tennis, and auto racing.
Meanwhile, the Horseshoe also is planning a big ribbon cutting event total place right before the first official bet is placed on Friday, if all goes well this week.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Baltimore mayor Brandon Scott, along with former Dunbar standout and NBA star Muggsy Bogues, and former Baltimore Ravens Torrey Smith and Adalius Thomas are all expected to be at the Horseshoe on Friday.
If the Horseshoe gets final approval to open for sport betting on Friday, it will be just in time for fans to place their bets on Sunday's Ravens game against the Browns.