First Legal Sports Bet Placed in Maryland

First Legal Sports Bet Placed in Maryland

Sports betting has finally been legalized in the US state of Maryland. However, it’s unlikely that the first legal bet will be a winning one.

It was Gov. Larry Hogan who went to the MGM National Harbor Casino on Thursday 9 December to place the initial sporting bet. He didn’t go for a short-priced favourite, instead he put a bet on the Washington Football Team to win the NFC and the Baltimore Ravens to win the AFC. A bet therefore on an all-Maryland Super Bowl, so let’s see what chance it has of being a winning one.

Washington are currently second in the NFC East with six wins and six defeats this season. That puts them sixth overall in the NFC and in with a chance of earning a wild card. The Baltimore Ravens are 8-4 for the season and top of the AFC North. They are third overall in the AFC so they’re having a good season. But are both good enough to reach the Super Bowl?

If his bet is a winner, then it will payout $20,000. The Governor will be lucky to get a return though. ESPN’s Football Power Index gives Baltimore an 8.8% chance of winning the AFC. However, they aren’t that keen on Washington and give them just a 0.5% chance of becoming the NFC champions.

Casinos to Open New Sportsbooks

The coming days will see other casinos in the state opening sportsbooks. This will include the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore and the Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover.

It was in May of this year that the Governor signed the papers that legalized sports betting in Maryland. The first five retail sportsbook licenses were approved last month. However, those who are wanting to gamble online in Maryland still face a long wait. The first online sportsbooks aren’t expected to start operating until late 2022.

Meanwhile in Ohio, house representatives have approved a bill that will see sports betting come to the state. House Bill 29 covers mobile sports betting, retail sports betting and also sports betting kiosks and lottery retail agents.

The main sponsor of the bill was Sen. Niraj Antani (Republican) who is delighted with the progress made. “Ohioans want to be able to bet on sports and they will now finally be able to. Whether it’s rooting on the Buckeyes or the Bengals, sports betting will add that additional fun factor in enjoying sports,” said the senator.

Of course, it’s not all about people enjoying a bet. Sen. Kirk Schuring (Republican) spoke of the other benefits of sports betting. Now that it is legal, sports betting “will generate not only business development but revenue for the state.”

There’s a while to wait though and it’s expected that Ohio will have to wait until late 2022 before sportsbooks are launched.