For the first time in the history of Preakness Stakes, bettors from Maryland can directly head to a local casino and place bets on their favorite horse to win. Sports betting has been legal in the Old Line State since December at five of its casinos, and locals don’t need to travel to Pimlico to place a wager anymore.
Sports betting got off to an explosive start as bets nearly doubled in the first two months from December to January, from about $16 million to $32 million. Total casino gaming revenue in Maryland has gone up nearly 18% for the fiscal year 2022 from 2021, from $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.
Since December, bettors have placed $132,544,146 in sports wagers at Maryland casinos. Lucky winners took home $117,277,377. So far, the State casinos have made $12,694,311 in revenue from sports betting.
The State is yet to establish a form of mobile sports betting. But it is still more convenient now than before for its ardent fans to be a part of The Preakness stakes, a nearly 150-year-old tradition. It also seems about right to place these bets at a casino named after a widely recognized symbol of good luck – Horseshoe Casino, the first of the five Maryland casinos since legalization of sports-betting.
Its vice president of marketing, Tom Yorke, said, “It just gives something else that our customers wanted. They’ve been asking for sports gambling for a long time, and they’re having a lot of fun with it. We’ve had the OTB for a minute, as well around Triple Crown is when it really starts to hit its high notes.”
He added, “Betting on horses is very simple. Our most popular bets, win. If the horse wins outright. Place, come in first or second. Show is first second or third. Those are very simple bets to make.”
At the moment, the state can create up to 60 mobile licenses. The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) is looking at the industry to provide opportunities for women and people of color.