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‘Quite an accomplishment’: Greenmount OTB in Hampstead receives sports betting license

Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission recently awarded a sports wagering license to Greenmount OTB, an off-track betting site within Greenmount Station Restaurant in Hampstead.

On Monday, the commission officially approved the application for sports waging and bets on horse racing just a few days after the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission determined that the OTB site met the qualification requirements on Dec. 16.

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The facility is among 17 locations that Maryland lawmakers have designated for in-person sports betting, according to a news release.

Located off Main Street in Historic Hampstead, 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.

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Richardson, who is also an executive director of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, said he is thrilled to be able to offer sports wagering at Greenmount OTB.

“We’re one of only a handful of early adopters for sports betting and we’re definitely the first to get approved for a smaller location. There’s only four non-casino OTBs that are going to be earmarked for sports betting … to have that in Carroll County that’s quite an accomplishment,” he said.

Richardson hopes the new designation will spur revitalization of the Greenmount Station Restaurant.

“The restaurant has been hammered with COVID ever since March of 2020 and it’s just been tough sledding for any restaurant to just make it. The OTB has helped keep the restaurant viable but this is just another shot in the arm to try to revitalize the business that has been lost by COVID,” Richardson said.

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Two other OTB venues — The Riverboat on the Potomac, located on the Virginia shore, and Long Shot’s in Frederick — were awarded licenses by the SWARC on Dec. 8 and are expected to open in early 2022.

The expansion of gambling to encompass sports betting came following a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision that opened the door for all states to offer sports betting. Maryland voters approved a ballot question to allow sports betting in 2020, which was followed by a state law passed earlier this year setting the parameters of how the industry will operate.

Legal retail sports betting launched in Maryland on Dec. 9 at MGM National Harbor in Prince George’s County and at Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore and Live! Casino in Hanover on Dec. 10.

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