BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Grab your jerseys, your wallet and check your stats before you head out to the casino—sports betting is live in Maryland.
MGM National Harbor, Maryland Live! and Horseshoe Casino are now all offering sports betting in person. At Horseshoe, there are 14 sports wager kiosks and seven stations where people can bet at the counter.READ MORE: How To Stream The Star-Spangled Celebration Fireworks Show
Casino guests playing the slots at Horseshoe on Friday were excited for this day to finally arrive.
“I think it’s fantastic, anything to help the state of Maryland I think is great,” Sadie Hannah told WJZ.
Angelo Boer said he plans on placing wagers on his favorite local sports teams.
“Ravens and Orioles!” Boer said. “I am a lifelong Baltimorean, and I love my teams.”
In May, Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill into law allowing sportsbooks to operate in Maryland. Then the state’s six casinos went to work getting their ducks in a row to bring sports betting to their clientele.
Hogan was among those on hand Friday for the launch of Caesars Sportsbook at Horseshoe Casino.
“Horseshoe opened in 2014, bringing 1,000 jobs to Baltimore,” the governor said. “They’ve generated nearly $740 million in revenue for our state these seven years. Now with the addition of 15,000 square feet of sportsbook amenities, they’ve taken the next big step forward.”READ MORE: BWI Fares Well Amid Mass Flight Delays, Cancellations Over Holiday Weekend
Sportsbooks have agreed to contribute 15% of their revenue to support educational programs in Maryland.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, who was also in attendance, said the goal is to build more new school buildings in the city.
“We opened our sixth brand new school building this year, which is a record for the city,” Scott said. “And this is the kind of thing we will be supporting when we do this.”
Boer was thrilled to hear that some of the proceeds would go toward education.
“I’m excited to place wagers, but I’m excited about how they’ll use the money,” he said.
Boer wasn’t alone. Vonda Floyd said she too was happy with how some of the money would be spent.
“I think it’s a good thing as long as it goes back to the schools for the children,” Floyd told WJZ.
Ocean Downs, Hollywood Casino, Longshots and Riverboat were also all awarded sports betting licenses, but have yet to launch sports betting. Ocean Downs and Hollywood hope to have theirs up and running later this month.MORE NEWS: Mother Of Abandoned Newborn Receives 18-Month Sentence
The state will open applications for mobile betting licenses sometime next year.