Sports betting is on the way to Maryland, following voter approval of the new gaming option by voters last fall. So it only makes sense that a Frederick gambling location should be allowed to join the fun.

The Frederick County legislative delegation recently voted to ask the Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission to issue a sports and event wagering license to Long Shot’s Restaurant and Bar, which is located in the Clarion Inn Event Center next to the Francis Scott Key Mall in Frederick.

The restaurant already is licensed as an Off-Track Betting site, so it makes sense to us to expand its offerings to include sports betting. A bill is expected to be introduced in the General Assembly later this legislative session to implement sports wagering statewide.

Sen. Michael Hough (R-Frederick and Carroll) sought the delegation’s backing for his bill asking the state to include the local restaurant in the statewide plan. It was a somewhat controversial issue at the delegation meeting.

According to a News-Post article by reporter Steve Bohnel, Hough argued that if the delegation did not push for the only off-track betting business in Frederick, Long Shot’s might not be included in the wider bill. Hough’s local bill eventually was supported in a 5-3 vote.

Our reporter said the discussion eventually came down to a disagreement between three lawmakers who wanted to wait for the legislative leadership to write the implementation bill, and those who felt it was important to speak out on behalf of the local business at the beginning of the process.

Del. Carol Krimm (D-Frederick) and Sen. Ron Young (D-Frederick) said the delegation should wait until after the bill hearing on House Speaker Adrienne Jones’ bill. Young also indicated another Frederick business might apply for a sports wagering license. Del. Karen Lewis Young (D-Frederick), chair of the delegation, also opposed Hough’s measure.

But Dels. Jesse Pippy (R-Frederick and Carroll) and Dan Cox (R-Frederick and Carroll) said now was the time to indicate support for Long Shot’s. Del. Barrie Ciliberti (R-Frederick and Carroll) and Del. Ken Kerr (D-Frederick) agreed.

Hough said if Long Shot’s is not given a license for sports betting, local people would be more likely to patronize nearby gaming operations in West Virginia and Pennsylvania and the county would lose tax revenue.

We supported the ballot question last fall in large measure because the states surrounding Maryland as well as the District of Columbia have already approved sports betting, and it just made sense for Maryland to do likewise, in order to keep revenue in our state.

If Maryland were to hold out against sports gambling, we argued then, residents would continue to cross the state line and spend their money in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware or the District.

The same argument, on a smaller scale, holds in this case. If a state is permitting sports gambling, it should make it convenient for people who enjoy gambling to play close to home.

Both the District and Virginia are allowing residents to bet online, without even going into an OTB site or a casino. All they need is a cell phone or a computer. Advertisements for the services are all over television and radio. But if folks want to go out to dinner or have a few drinks at a bar while they watch sports and bet on the outcome, we should advocate for the local location.

If people want to win — or lose — money, they should lose money here at home, we say.

(14) comments


Obviously the owner of the Hampton is not a democrat !!


If Maryland wants to allow sports betting, or any betting, why can't that be done on line? Why is a physical establishment needed?


[thumbup][thumbup] And why should they receive money from the betting? Are they contributing to Hough's campaign?


Evidently these comments are made by people that do not understand the difference is between a sports betting site and a Casino. The Sports Betting site does not have slots or table games. All it has are tv screens showing live games that are available for wagering and the betting stations. No one is being forced to bet on anything. So if the all knowing powers in Annapolis allow little old Frederick to get into "The Game" fine. If not, then Charlestown is down the road!


Martin O'Malley let loose a monster when Maryland legalized gambling. This isn't a groovy trip to Vegas back in the day, it's a depressing siphon of money out of pockets that are easy marks.




Indeed, gambling tends to attract the poorest and most hapless individuals, the ones least able to afford this habit and often addiction. There are far better ways to lift up our society: education, economic opportunity, and social justice initiatives.


Another opportunity for people to waste their money, but hey, the government encourages it by providing an income tax deduction if you gamble and lose over a certain percent of you income. Go figure.


the more money they can get people to pay by way of gambling the less they will have to take from my pocket


When has that ever slowed anyone?


Before you get one board with this form of entertainment I urge you to visit Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races or Live! or Casino & Hotel Maryland in Anne Arundel County. Just take a walk through those dark and depressing dungeons of misery and impoverishment to get a glimpse of what we have to look forward to if this kind of facility is allowed in Frederick. They attract the very subset of people who can least afford to be gamble, thus ultimately resulting in a sort of regressive tax on the poor. No thanks!

To encourage such places in Frederick is to discourage everything Frederick has tried to overcome for the last thirty years. These gambling locations become a cacophony of sights and sounds antithetic to everything that is charming, quaint and inviting about Frederick including manifold addiction issues, prostitution and crime on the fringes. Remember, there's no such thing as a free lunch!


I couldn't agree more!

Former Trump Plaza in Atlantic City to be blown up Feb. 17, 2021, nydailynews


Yeah we visited one after going to Charles Town for another reason and it was a bad minute that stays with you. I put a quarter in a machine that ate it. Why do that twice. The ambience of a surreal...basement. There was food...but why would this make you hungry. I am perplexed why this appeals.


You don't need to go all the way out there to see that. just go to the Scratch-Off line at your local gas station.

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