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After years of dedicated work by Maryland lawmakers and industry leaders, legal retail sports betting could finally launch by the weekend at Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino, that is if their operation passes its planned soft launch this week.
The Horseshoe will entertain representatives from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) during the week for what they are calling “controlled demonstrations,” where a select number of guests are invited to test the casino’s new sportsbook.
According to John Martin, the director of the MLGCA, it’s a necessary step to their process of making sure everything is in place and that it works well for the consumer, saying:
Think of it as a soft launch. We invite customers in the casinos, invite their customers in, and they go through all of the mechanisms of sports wagering just to make sure everything is addressed properly and we’re ready to go.
As far as the Horseshoe Casino is concerned, this part of the process is simply a formality that senior vice president and general manager Randy Conroy’s team is fully prepared to face, telling the press:
I think our team is ready for this. We’ll expect to pass the final exam here with the lottery.
The MLGCA will be judging the casino’s new sportsbook based on four major aspects.
The MLGCA will use specific criteria to assess the casino’s readiness, and in order to pass the agency’s muster, the Horseshoe’s sportsbook will have to do the following things:
MLGCA Director Martin seems confident in the casino’s potential to earn checkmarks across the board, expressing to the press his optimism regarding a passing grade:
It has been a process over a year in the making. We are just thrilled sports wagering will be starting in Maryland here this week.
The goal is to open up the doors to the general public by Friday.
A December launch date has long been the goal for Maryland’s retail sports betting market as we reported recently in MD Commission Okays Two More Retail Sportsbook Apps; Dec. Launch Planned.
Horseshoe Casino’s senior VP and GM Conroy is convinced that “if all goes well and the lottery approves, we’ll open to the public on Friday afternoon,” so Maryland bettors can start taking in all the odds and predictions for the NFL’s Week 14 games happening this weekend.
It’s an exciting move that makes sports betting more convenient for Maryland punters who in the past have been forced to find alternative sportsbooks, something that former Ravens running back Walter Sanders, who’s a boxer now, calls exciting:
People love sports. Sports makes the world go round. Instead of going all the way to (Las) Vegas or New York or any different states, bringing it here in Maryland and Baltimore (will) be tremendous for the city. It brings excitement.
This new legal market is projected to generate up to $20 million in annual tax revenue, money that should begin to improve the lives of Maryland’s residents.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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