HANOVER, Md. - Sports bettors in Maryland are taking advantage of finally being able to place legal sports bets on the NCAA tournament.
Fox 5’s Tom Fitzgerald reports there have been non-stop lines throughout the day Thursday at Live! Casino and Hotel in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, as fans are looking to get their Sweet Sixteen bets in. Fans are able to place bets either at Fanduel’s in-person betting windows or automated kiosks.
The casino says sports betting has been so popular that Live! Casino and Hotel officials have had to double their number of kiosks to keep up with demand to place bets.
"If you look at the state revenue numbers you’ll see we’re actually the number one sportsbook in the state of Maryland. The Super Bowl was phenomenal but we are in March Madness right now, and we’ve got the sweet 16" said Anthony Fraranca, the casino’s general manager.
Legal sports gambling in Maryland kicked off in December, making this the first march madness ever with the sports book operational. For fans, this means they can now place bets without having to drive out of state.
While the convenience of in-state betting has made some Maryland gamblers happy, many still complain that they can’t bet on their phone. Right now, Virginia and D.C. both allow for mobile gambling.
Maryland’s lottery director tells Fox 5 he hopes Maryland’s mobile sportsbooks will start later this year, once regulations are set up. John Martin tells Fox 5 lottery officials are eager to launch mobile betting.
"Nearly 90 percent of the wagering that goes on in the jurisdiction is mobile and while we’ve had a great start with our land based systems, you can tell we’re very excited about the prospect mobile wagering can provide us," said John Martin, the director of Maryland Lottery.
So far, sports gambling in Maryland has been a slam dunk, even before March Madness started. In the first 2 full months of operation, Maryland sportsbooks have brought in $57 million.
Gambling analysts expect the betting frenzy to continue through the end of the NCAA tournament.