Maryland’s Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore announced Friday that it has forged a marketing partnership with the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League.
The deal comes amid an expanding sports betting market in the United States. Maryland, home to the nation’s hottest casino gambling market, doesn’t have sports betting yet, but lawmakers there have already put the gears into motion.
What’s Maryland’s sports betting timeline?
Maryland’s casino industry has taken a bite out of the gambling market in neighboring West Virginia, but the latter has clawed back to some degree thanks to becoming one of the first states to take advantage of the mid-May Supreme Court ruling allowing state-by-state sports betting legislation. For now, many Maryland gamblers are making the trip to Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia, the closest sportsbook to the D.C. region.
That will remain the situation for a while, as Maryland requires that voters approve or reject legalized sports betting. Thanks to failing to put the issue to voters in 2018, the Old Line State will have to wait until 2020.
The state shouldn’t wait past that point, as even D.C. could beat it to the punch in the sports betting industry.
So, the Horseshoe-Ravens partnership won’t involve sport betting quite yet, but it should provide further momentum for sports betting proponents in Annapolis. In September, the NFL allowed its teams to enter into partnerships with casinos.
The Dallas Cowboys franchise was the first to take advantage of the rule change, forging a partnership with Winstar World, operator of a tribal casino in nearby Oklahoma.
Caesars pushes forward
Caesars Entertainment, owner of the Horseshoe, made company history with the Ravens deal.
“It is an honor for us to officially partner with our neighbor, the Baltimore Ravens,” Caesars Regional President and Horseshoe Casino General Manager Erin Chamberlin said in a statement. “We are two strong Baltimore brands that are committed to the city and the region. We both offer a unique entertainment product with broad and complementary appeal. And, we share a common commitment to transforming the southern gateway into an unrivaled entertainment district that adds renewed energy and excitement to the area.”
The deal will involve the use of the Baltimore Ravens’ brand for “on-site promotion” at Horseshoe Baltimore. Through the partnership, 14Forty, the casino’s “feature bar,” will become a Ravens-branded bar.
The arrangement will capitalize on the fact that M&T Bank Stadium and the casino are separated by a matter of blocks.
The Ravens deal follows Caesars’ July announcement of a sports betting partnership with Scientific Games for legal sports betting in New Jersey and Mississippi.
Through September, Horseshoe Baltimore won $197.1 million from gamblers this year, down from $205.3 million won during the same period last year.
The Maryland gambling market, home to six casinos, generated $1.3 billion in gaming revenue through the first nine months of this year, up from $1.21 billion during the same period in 2017. In other words, Horseshoe Baltimore is losing ground in the increasingly crowded regional gambling market.
The casino hopes the Ravens deal will increase the popularity of the property.
“Horseshoe Casino Baltimore has become a popular destination, particularly for Ravens fans before and after our home games,” Ravens Senior Vice President of Corporate Sales and Business Development Kevin Rochlitz said in a statement. “We’re enthused about this partnership and believe it will further enrich the entertainment appeal surrounding M&T Bank Stadium. Additionally, we feel it will help contribute to the exciting development taking place throughout the area.”
Former Raven and NFL Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden was also part of the event at the casino announcing the partnership.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com.