Anne Arundel County

Live! Casino’s new Sports & Social venue bets on voters legalizing sports betting in Maryland

Voters casting their ballots this election may not know how to answer Question 2, which asks whether they want “to authorize sports and events betting for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education” with no clear picture as to what that could look like.

Live! Casino & Hotel wants voters to picture a sports-betting utopia, featuring giant state-of-the art screens, lavish lounges and games spanning from blackjack to oversized foosball.


That’s the premise of the Arundel Mills center’s Sports & Social venue, a $12 million project expected to open in winter 2021. Live! announced Wednesday that the space formerly occupied by Live! Center Stage will become a restaurant and gaming lounge “for those seeking the ultimate sports fan experience.”

The hub will feature 212 seats and more than 100 linear feet of LED screens, including a giant, 47-foot-wide main screen so every guest can watch at least 10 games at once. It will also have two bars, VIP lounges, tiered sports viewing lounge chairs, casino games and interactive social games like mini-bowling.


The venue is designed “to seamlessly incorporate and launch sports betting” should Question 2 pass in November. With regulatory approval, guests will have multiple options to wager, including self-service kiosks and retail windows.

If the sports betting measure doesn’t pass, Sports & Social project will continue, Live! spokesperson Melissa DiMercurio said.

The company leading the project, Cordish Gaming Group, seems to think the odds are in their favor.

“If Maryland voters pass Question 2, Sports & Social will also become home to the most exhilarating sports betting facility in the region," said Cordish President Rob Norton said.

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“In doing so, we will realize the potential sports betting has to bring tangible benefits to the State, including tens of millions of dollars in new tax revenue that will support our schools.”

The casino has given $36,705,111.79 from slots and $7,675,481.85 from table games to the education trust since the new fiscal year started in July, Casino and Hotel manager Anthony Faranca said.

The company is also adding Sports & Social lounges to Live! Casino Pittsburgh later this year and at Live! Casino & Hotel in Philadelphia in early 2021.

If the referendum passes, Maryland would join neighboring jurisdictions Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia in allowing sports wagering.


There are still questions yet to be answered about adding sports betting to the state including how many could operate betting apps, how much licensees would be taxed, and just how much of the proceeds would be dedicated to education or other uses.

The transformation of Live! Center Stage to a sports venue was planned long before the coronavirus pandemic, Faranca said, and has been underway since early April. The venue closed when the rest of the casino shut down in early March.

The new venue also creates an opportunity for new jobs, Faranca said. New positions will be offered first to employees furloughed because of the pandemic, she said, then to the public.