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Online sports betting is starting in Maryland, with some already placing bets

MARYLAND (DC News Now) — Online sports betting in Maryland is now live after 7 sports bets started at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Lots of people celebrate, but others aren’t quite on board.

The apps listed below are now available for bettors in Maryland. Bettors must be at least 21 years of age and physically resident in the state of Maryland, but do not have to be a Maryland resident.

  • Barstool Sportsbook, a partnership with Hollywood Casino in Perryville.
  • BetMGM has partnered with MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill.
  • BetRivers has partnered with Bingo World in Brooklyn Park.
  • Caesars Sportsbook, a partnership with Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore City.
  • DraftKings has partnered with Crown MD Online Gaming, which plans to open at the Maryland Fairgrounds.
  • FanDuel, a partnership with Maryland Live! Casino and hotel in Hanover.
  • PointsBet, partner of Riverboat on the Potomac in Charles County.

Johnny Avello, Director of Race and Sports Operations at DraftKings, explained that bettors essentially have a sportsbook in their pocket that they can access at any time.

Wes Richardson used to travel overseas from Prince George’s County to place his bets. He explained how inconvenient and frustrating it is not only to drive from his home state to gamble, only to be faced with queues and delays while placing his bets. Now he looks forward to the comfort and feels happy.

“It’s about time because I’ve probably been doing it since November of last year when they opened sportsbook,” Richardson explained. “As soon as I get off [of work]I’m putting together some things for the NFL games on Thanksgiving and maybe I’ll do something for the NBA games tonight.

Silver Spring resident Mark McIntosh is excited to try his luck but says he needs to learn the system before placing any bets.

“I’m learning, so I’m ready, man,” McIntosh said excitedly. “I’m ready to take full effect on whatever it reaps, whether I reap good or bad. So I’m excited man. It’s a good thing in Maryland.”

Others are not on board with the new ease of betting. Steve Cosby is frustrated that Maryland supports and encourages gambling.

“I think gambling of all kinds takes advantage of the poor and I don’t think we as a state should encourage it in any way,” Cosby said. “I think a private institution like a casino is more acceptable because you have to go there and go there intentionally, while online betting makes it accessible to everyone with no effort and it just seems predatory.”

DraftKings is one of the seven sportsbooks to be launched. Avello told DC News Now that they have built-in safeguards against addictive behaviors.

“We’re very aware of the problems of gambling, we’re tackling them and we’re spending millions of dollars on them,” Avello said. “We have some safeguards in place for customers; that would be deposit limits, limits for bets. As such, our staff are trained to look for specific things and fix them when they occur.”

There was a testing period Monday afternoon to allow apps to fix potential issues, but DraftKings told DC News Now they had no problems and don’t expect them to surface.

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