Bingo World in MD partners up with BetRivers
On Monday, August 1st, 2022, Bingo World in Baltimore welcomed the first BetRivers sportsbook to open in a bingo hall. The opening was attended by Bingo World President Randy Clemens, BetRivers Director of B2B Services Adam Glass, and several Maryland politicians.
Former Baltimore Raven and Super Bowl champion Qadry Ismail was there to place the first bet. He’s hoping to turn his $10 wager into big money with the Ravens to win the AFC Championship in January, with another $10 on Justin Thomas winning the 2023 Masters.
Clemens confirmed to a local news station that he’s happy to finally have a sportsbook here as it’s been a long time coming.
“We are extremely excited,” Clemens said in an interview with WMAR-2 News. “It’s been a long road for us. We’re just happy to be able to offer sports betting to the neighborhood, to the area…We have machines, we have bingo, and now we have sports betting.”
Enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere
According to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC), Bingo World is the fourth non-casino site to obtain a sports betting license and the first bingo hall to offer Maryland sports betting.
With a spacious 3,000 square feet footprint, patrons are invited to experience:
- 21 high-definition video screens
- Streaming BetRivers odds boards
- A bar with high-top seating
- Three over-the-counter machines
- 12 sports wagering kiosks
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Glass said “Our BetRivers Sportsbook in Maryland BetRivers makes history by launching a sportsbook within a bingo hall. Bingo World in Baltimore welcomed its newest addition on August 1st, 2022 will offer the same premium quality experience that our customers from all over the country have come to expect at our retail sportsbook venues.”
“The BetRivers experience at Bingo World will feature high-quality viewing of multiple sporting events, comfortable and modern seating accommodations, and food and beverage options. And most importantly, a highly trained and knowledgeable staff that can assist with sports bettors’ questions.”
Clemens was keen to point out the benefit of another avenue for customers to enjoy.
“We’ve always been known for being fun, festive, and friendly, and we hope to throw that into the sports betting aspect as well,” he said. “You come in, you sit down in these great lounge chairs, enjoy the game, get to talk to the person next to you, enjoy yourself and just relax and have fun.”
Bingo World prepped for the launch and solidified final approvals by hosting two separate controlled demonstrations. Selected guests were invited to come and place their sports bets so that the MLGCC could verify that the facility and all systems complied.
In a press release about his experience, Ismail said: “This new sportsbook is a huge win for avid sports fans in Baltimore and beyond. Betting has become such a big part of the sports world and now Ravens fans and other bettors can come here to be entertained and enjoy the wide variety of betting options BetRivers will offer.”
Maryland looks to its sports betting future
A true pillar of the Baltimore area, Bingo World is the largest bingo hall in Maryland. Its sports betting license was awarded in March, only a few months after the state launched sports betting in December 2021.
Within days of the launch, Ocean Downs Casino, Live! Casino & Hotel, MGM National Harbor, Hollywood Casino and Horseshoe Casino all took bets. But in a significant milestone for Bingo World, it was the first non-casino facility to accept wagers.
Greenmount Station (Hampstead), Long Shot’s (Frederick) and Riverboat-on-the-Potomac (Charles County) have also been approved for a sports betting license. All three are off-track betting sites, but none have opened a physical sportsbook yet.
Throughout the state, 17 sites were pre-named for sports betting licenses. These include The Jockey Bar and Grille (Boonsboro), the Maryland State Fairgrounds and a second bingo hall, Rod ‘N’ Reel (Chesapeake Beach).
The MLGCC noted that “Maryland Lottery and Gaming’s Licensing investigators are in frequent contact with additional sports wagering facilities and prospective applicants to guide them through the background investigation process.”
More sportsbooks with licenses granted:
- BetMGM Maryland
- Caesars Sportsbook Maryland
- FanDuel Maryland
- WynnBET Maryland
- Pointsbet Maryland
- BetFanatics Sportsbook Maryland
The question of online sports betting
In mid-July, Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) approved proposed online sports betting regulations and applications. “Emergency approval” will now be sought by SWARC from Maryland Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review. Following approval, a 30-day public comment period commences.
Subsequently, after a state-run disparity survey has been completed, SWARC will determine a date to accept formal applications and fee submissions. Only then can the group formulate a draft timeline for additional actions before making mobile sports betting app in Maryland official.
The next SWARC meeting is due on August 17, though it may usher in an emergency meeting sooner.
There are still barriers to be broken in the Old Line State before online sports betting is available to all. However, this didn’t dampen Governor Larry Hogan’s optimism in his recent plea to get things underway before the beginning of the new NFL season on Sept 8.