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It’s been a long time coming for sports gamblers in the area but brighter (and greener) days have come. Sports betting has officially opened at our casinos.

The openings come a year after its approval on last year’s ballot. Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission issued sports wagering licenses to both of our area casinos, Live! and Horseshoe. Live! opened its FanDuel Sportsbook at 9:30 AM on Friday just a few hours before Caeser’s Sportsbook’s 1 PM opening at Horseshoe. Both locations opened with controlled demonstrations to ensure that operations were functioning properly. Invited guests participated in live-betting as MLGCC staff monitored the activity. FanDuel and Caeser’s will both have kiosks available where bets can be placed, as well as at ticket windows.

It was approved by 67% of voters in November 2020 and signed into law by Gov. Larry Hogan earlier this year. Baltimore Ravens Hall of Fame Safety Ed Reed placed the first bet at Live! Casino and Hotel. “I’m betting on the money line for the UFC fight see how it goes,” Reed said during the ribbon cutting ceremony. He spoke to Channel 11 about how he’s excited for the jobs that sports betting will bring to the state. “When you’re betting, you do it responsible and responsible way that’s No. 1, but the biggest thing is they’re giving jobs away. Who doesn’t want a job? Going to see if I can get hired,” he said.

Up the Parkway at the Horseshoe, Mayor Brandon Scott, Gov. Larry Hogan, Fmr. Ravens Torrey Smith and Adalius Thomas were on hand along with NBA legend Muggsy Bogues for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The governor projects that the project can bring up to $25 Million to the state in revenue. Maryland’s sportsbooks will contribute 15% of their revenue to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund in support of Maryland education programs. “This is just another amount of money that’s going to help us make improvements to the schools. We’re not encouraging people to go out and bet that don’t want to bet on sports, but people who are, we want to keep the money here in the state rather than them spending it someplace else and we want to make sure we get that revenue to pay for really important programs for kids,” Hogan has said.

Mayor Scott continued about how sports betting will help locally. “We opened our sixth brand new school building here in Baltimore City this year, which is a record for the city of Baltimore, so this is the kind of thing that we will be supporting when we do this,” Scott said. Congratulations to the state of Maryland for continued efforts to bridge the desire for entertainment with a passion for building a better future.

By the way, Governor Hogan placed a $50 bet that the Ravens will face the Football Team (if they keep that name) in next year’s Super Bowl. I don’t know, just thought that was interesting.