The church sued in 2017 after a county board denied its $5 million

She says the big problem for the smaller operators in Maryland won’t be whether they can get in the door — though just doing that isn’t likely to be cheap — but whether they can actually have an impact on the betting market.

Welman said Tennessee, which doesn’t cap the number of licenses available, only has seven companies operating and the smaller ones have struggled to keep up with the bigger names.

In Maryland, where casinos and gaming are already up and running, she said that’s where companies might partner up together in order to take on bigger fish.

“There are some incentives in the language of the law to suggest that if Draft Kings and Fan Duel were to partner with a minority-owned business, they would be given consideration to launch in the first wave,” Welman said.

“Or … I wonder if for example the Bingo halls kind of work together and pool their resources because running a sports book is expensive. You’re paying your licensing fees, the regulatory fees, and then you’re also having to power a very extravagant piece of technology. It has to pass a certain level of standards by the Maryland Lottery … before it can launch. And what we saw in Tennessee was the local operator was incapable of operating at the proper level and they got in a little hot water.”

Some of the larger companies have also expanded their profile through gambling-oriented content to get their names out there.

“I think it’s really hard with brand recognition,” to breakthrough, Welman said, who said it might help a smaller entity if it were also “an iconic Maryland brand that people already know and associate with the state.”

But she says a philosophy gaining hold among a couple of other operators in other states could also work in Maryland, too.

“It’s hard because the big guys come with big fire power,” Welman said. “There are giant promotional offers for signing up for some of these sports book.”

That makes it hard for regional sports book operators like what the Maryland legislation is meant to encourage to compete.

“If you get a consortium of people together, you could probably brand different ways but be backed on the same sports betting software platform and use your dollars together to offer incentivized promos,” said Welman.

But she also points to Colorado where “some of the smaller operators there, they just find a niche and stick with it.”

One sports book over there focuses on e-sports, for example.

“I think if you’re going to try and be a small player in Maryland, maybe coming up with a very Maryland-focused site on Maryland teams or some sort of niche sport popular with people in Maryland is going to be the way to win people over,” she saidBALTIMORE — Baltimore County has agreed to pay $1.1 million to resolve a religious discrimination lawsuit over a county board’s denial of a church’s expansion plan.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the county and Hunt Valley Baptist Church reached the March 31 settlement after a federal judge in Baltimore upheld a ruling that the county violated a federal law that protects religious institutions from discrimination in zoning.

plan to build a 1,000-seat sanctuary with classrooms, a kitchen, gym, offices and parking for 240 cars on a 17-acre farm.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributedFive volunteer firefighters with the West Lanham Hills department have been indicted for allegedly working with civilians to set fires at abandoned homes — all so they could put out the flames, according to Prince George’s County, Maryland, State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy.

“It is unacceptable and it’s disheartening and it makes us angry,” Braveboy said during a Friday news conference in Largo.

“These are individuals who absolutely know the devastation that can be caused by fire.”

Her comments came after a yearlong investigation into arson cases from 2019 and 2020.

The indicted volunteers are accused of working with three civilians to set fires at four vacant structures “solely for the purpose of being called to and extinguishing those fires,” Fire and EMS Battalion Chief Shajahan Jagtiani said.

He said they “had knowledge of and were involved in the planning of arsons.”

The five accused were taken off the job at the start of the investigation.

One firefighter has been arrested. The others have been given criminal summonses.

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impressive to me that lawmakers have set up