Maryland Sports Betting: Betfred Partners with Long Shot’s for Retail and Online Wagering

Betfred Sports announced Wednesday that it has partnered with Long Shot's in Frederick for retail and online sports betting, the latter of which could still take some time.

Last Updated: Jul 6, 2022 11:29 AM ET Read Time: 3 min
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One of the specially “named” facilities that will offer sports betting in Maryland has found a partner for in-person and online wagering. 

Betfred Sports announced Wednesday that it has struck an agreement with Long Shot's in Frederick for retail and online sports betting, the latter of which could still take some time. 

If approved by regulators, a temporary sportsbook will be set up adjacent to the off-track betting facility within Long Shot’s for the 2022 football season, a press release said. A permanent, “state-of-the-art” sportsbook will follow and online wagering will launch when state officials give the green light.

"We identified Long Shot's very early when searching for a Maryland partner,” said Bryan Bennett, chief operating officer of Betfred Sports, in the release. “When combining Betfred's 50 years of bookmaking experience and Long Shot's success with off-track betting, we believe this will be a formidable partnership to compete in the Maryland sports betting space."

What's in a name?

Betfred Sports is a subsidiary of Betfred Group, a bookmaker based in the United Kingdom that runs a slew of betting shops and takes wagers over the internet. Among other things, Betfred Sports also operates a physical sportsbook in Louisiana at the Paragon Casino Resort.

Long Shot's, meanwhile, is one of 17 entities named in Maryland’s sports betting law as eligible for a brick-and-mortar sportsbook license. Nine of the 17 entities have been awarded sports wagering facility licenses by regulators, including five casinos currently taking bets. 

Maryland Lottery and Gaming staff have been working with three off-track betting sites, such as Long Shot’s, to launch retail sports wagering at the facilities. However, Long Shot's is currently on track to be the first and only 100% female-owned business in Maryland to host a sportsbook, according to Wednesday's release. 

"We were at the forefront of bringing sports betting to Maryland and specifically to Frederick,” Long Shot's CEO Alyse Cohen said. "Long Shot's will not only boost the local economy but contribute to enhancing the education of our students."

Still, it may be some time before the new partners see the online component of their agreement come to fruition.

Launching online sports betting in Maryland is proving to be a time-consuming process. This prompted Gov. Larry Hogan to write a letter to the state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) in June that urged them to take steps to ensure mobile wagering is live for football season

However, regulators have pointed to the state’s sports-betting law as a source of delay. Lawmakers crafted the legislation to ensure the participation of women and minorities in the industry, and there is a process intended to achieve that result. 

“These steps are necessary for SWARC to set forth a sports wagering application evaluation process that is legally sound, and to the maximum extent permissible by law, allows SWARC to seek to achieve racial, ethnic, and gender diversity when awarding the sports wagering licenses,” Commission Chairman Tom Brandt said last month. 

The SWARC has been working on regulations and applications for mobile betting, the latter of which could start being accepted this summer. The commission is authorized to award up to 60 licenses for online sports betting. 

In the meantime, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission has opened its eLicensing platform for businesses interested in retail and mobile licenses. Doing so will allow regulators to try to get the ball rolling on required background investigations.

“We know that everyone is eager to get started, and opening eLicensing is a proactive way for us to facilitate progress,” Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin said in a press release. “As we await the SWARC application, we’ll be able to spend time assisting small businesses that aren’t familiar with the level of investigation that exists in sports wagering. Our staff is ready to work with them and help them to understand what’s required.”

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