The off-track betting facility inside the Greenmount Station restaurant in Hampstead will be open for sports betting on Friday, pending approval from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency following two days of controlled sports betting there Monday and Wednesday.
Greenmount OTB is an alliance between two local small business owners and neighbors, Chris Richards, owner of Greenmount Station Restaurant, and David Richardson, owner of Greenmount Bowl. Richardson said 11 residents of Hampstead and surrounding areas were hired and trained as tellers to accommodate expansion of the OTB facility at 1631 N. Main St., Suite C, Hampstead.
“We’re going to be one of the first small-venue sportsbooks in the whole country” Richardson said, “and that’s what makes us even more amazing.”
Greenmount OTB received a sports betting license in December.
A contract between Parx Casino in Philadelphia and Greenmount OTB allows the facility to use odds, back-end operations, and mobile betting software developed by Parx Casino. Richardson said he and Richards entertained offers from different casinos but found Parx’s deal to be the most lucrative.
“Parx comes in and operates the back end,” Richardson said, “but it’s Greenmount OTB employees. So, there are employees that come in and there are the tellers and the managers and the operational staff. So, this is our sportsbook, but Parx runs the back end of things.”
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The OTB and sportsbook will feature kiosks, betting windows, a full bar, restaurant tables and numerous televisions. Half the room will take sports bets and the other half will continue to accommodate off-track horse race betting. Richardson said adding sports betting is shown to increase business for OTB operations and could prove to be a boon for the neighboring restaurant and bowling alley.
“You go to the left and it’s a Maryland Jockey Club OTB,” Richardson said. “You go to the right and it’s just like you’re walking into a Parx casino.”
Their contact with Parx makes Richardson and Richards license holders for Maryland’s version of the BetPARX app. A version of the mobile app, which would allow users to make sports wagers anywhere in Maryland, is already available for Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Richardson said mobile betting could be the most profitable part of the contract. However, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency has yet to issue any licenses for betting apps since sports betting became legal in Maryland in December.
Parx is one of 10 applicants that could be awarded a sports betting app license within the next few months. Richardson said his app is different because it will have a local feel to it.
“There’s definitely the big guys, the DraftKings, the FanDuels, but I do think a there’s room for more players,” Richardson said. “Those guys are national outfits, I don’t think they understand Maryland. Chris and I are as Maryland as it comes.”
The Orioles have partnered with Superbook Sports and the Ravens have signed a deal with Caesars Sportsbook for mobile sports betting. Caesars Sportsbook is in the first round of applicants, as are DraftKings and FanDuel. The application fee is $500,000 and only 60 mobile betting licenses are available right now. Richardson said his application was about 300 pages long.
“There’s a huge opportunity to promote this and increase our hiring,” Richardson said, “and I think it’s going to be a boon for the economy. I mean, basically, you’re headquartering a mobile sports wagering operation in Hampstead, Maryland, so I think we do have an opportunity to grow.”