MARYLAND (FOX 5 DC) - Legal sports gambling in Maryland is out of the starting block after more than a year of delays.
Gov. Larry Hogan teamed up with former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann on Thursday to make the very first bets at the MGM National Harbor.
The honor of the first bet went to the governor who has been pushing the state to speed up the process of legal sports gambling.
"We’ve been behind, people have been betting in our neighboring states and in other places, and now they can finally do it right here at home, and it’s been a long time coming, and I think it’s gonna be good," said Gov. Hogan.
"We’re looking at how society has changed, the way sports is changing and how many different types of people have gotten involved in it and I think more and more are excited about it," said Theismann.
It's estimated Maryland could make between $20 and $25 million in its first year of legal sports betting in the state.
While MGM was the first out of the gate, they will soon have company. Maryland Live! Casino in Hanover and Horseshoe in Baltimore officially open their sportsbook on Friday with Hollywood Casino and Ocean Downs following suit shortly.
Maryland sports fans say it was a long time coming, but they're excited that the wait is finally over.
"I can’t believe it’s finally here! It’s been years that a lot of people have been waiting, so I think a lot of people are excited," one resident told FOX 5.
"Finally it’s here! It’s fifteen, twenty minutes from my home! What could be better? I love it! I love it!" another resident remarked.
Gov. Hogan bet on the Baltimore Ravens playing the Washington Football Team in the Super Bowl. Theismann picked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take on the New England Patriots in the big game.