Maryland online sports betting will definitely be given serious attention in 2021, as it's already been signed into law. Governor Larry Hogan signed HB 940 in after legislators amended it to become one of the more popular and expansive betting laws in the country.
Now, the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) has released their nearly-finalized ruleset. After a period of public comment and some potential amendments to the law, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission will take over and start issuing licenses in the Old Line State.
Maryland has a somewhat strange history of gambling, with lawmakers introducing restrictions and subsequent repeals throughout its existence. In the Old Line State, the first form of legalized betting was horse racing, followed by the lottery, bingo, and finally, land-based casinos. Then, it became the first state to legalize daily fantasy sports in 2012.
Keep reading our article and discover more about the current status of Maryland betting laws. Why was this legislation contested before becoming popular? Also, see what to expect in the near future and which sports betting websites could soon become available for MD bettors.
Maryland Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)
Although many states have a gray area for daily fantasy sports, Maryland is one of the few that doesn’t. In fact, it was the first state to pass a law that explicitly legalized paid-entry DFS in 2012. Additionally, it implemented further regulations in 2017, ensuring a more customer-centric approach.
If you want to play daily fantasy sports, you can download an app from several reputable operators. Alternatively, you can visit its website through your desktop or mobile browser. A fully-optimized application is one of the perks of using a high-quality operator. When the state legalizes online wagering, you’ll be able to download a variety of Maryland sports betting apps.
Maryland Betting Laws
On the 3rd of November 2020, almost two million voters approved the Maryland Sports Betting Expansion Measure. This referendum open the floor for a law allowing residents to bet on sports and other competitive events at licensed establishments.
After much debate, HB 940 became that law. At first, the bill was written in such a way as to give priority to existing operators, which many lawmakers and citizens disapproved. New amendments to the bill included specific language to give minority and women-owned businesses priority and award grants to support diverse ownership.
As a result, HB 940 had no trouble being signed after a final draft was issued in April 2021. Input from concerned groups like the Legislative Black Caucus and other groups helped to amend the bill and get it onto Gov. Hogan's desk, signed into law in May 2021.
Maryland Sports Betting Just Around The Corner
After May 2021, the process really began to pick up speed in MD, and sports betting is now expected to be live by the end of the year. Now that the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission is about ready to agree to a set of sports betting rules, all that's left to do is for the public to comment on this bill, which is one of the most expansive in the country and has bipartisan support. If any amendments are to be made to the law, that might slow the process a bit, but not too much change is expected.
This law will be one of the most liberal in the union, as it allows for around 100 sports betting licenses. Competition will be healthy in the Free State, and it's expected that Maryland sports betting will be live by the NFL season's end at the latest, early 2022. We're waiting on the appropriate commissions to get the application process finalized and initiated, so bets will hopefully happen in 2021.
Apart from the exciting introduction of Maryland sports betting, residents of the Free State also have access to other forms of legalized gambling. For starters, you can bet on pari-mutuel horse racing, which Maryland has allowed since the 1870’s. However, keep in mind that greyhound racing isn’t permitted.
In 1972, a constitutional referendum approved the state lottery, and it’s been in operation ever since. Although you can’t purchase tickets online, you can buy scratch-offs. Furthermore, you can also play bingo.
In addition, there are six land-based casinos you can visit in Maryland. Hollywood Casino Perryville was the first establishment to open in 2010. Now, it boasts more than 2,000 slots and 150 table games, along with an exclusive World Series of Poker room. Here’s a full list of the casinos that allow betting in Maryland:
Similar to Maryland online sports betting, playing at online casinos isn’t legal yet. However, you can visit sweepstakes sites that offer all the perks of a normal casino operator - without the addition of real money. Instead, you can win coins and exchange them for gift cards or cash prizes.
Future of Maryland Online Sports Betting
So, what does the future hold for MD sports betting? Right now, things are going smoothly with the licensing process, and the MLGC should be well poised to offer licenses this year. It's expected that bets will be available on Maryland online sportsbooks by the time the 2021 NFL season is in swing. Thankfully, the legal battle is settled in favor of online sports wagering, and with such a diverse market expected, players will have no shortage of sportsbooks and apps to choose from.
According to the Maryland sports betting legislation, the state intends to funnel most of its gambling revenue towards public education.
When Maryland sports betting officially launches, it’ll help the state shut down illegal Maryland betting sites. These operators are notoriously known for stealing customers’ funds and not offering consumer protection. Instead of worrying about this, you can enjoy peace of mind at licensed and regulated Maryland sportsbooks.
On top of this, now that Maryland online sports betting is legalized, you’ll have access to Maryland sports betting apps and Maryland betting sites. Expect these sites to start releasing in the fall of 2021, with some estimates anticipating the license process to take up until February 2022 .
Most Likely Maryland Online Sports Betting Sites
HB 940 has provision for 60 online licenses, so it's anyone's guess as to which operators might enter the playing field in MD. It's expected to be one of the largest and most competitive markets in the country, so we're hoping that the competition leads to some solid welcome offers for new users.
When licenses finally become available and take effect, we're looking forward to any number of established and new operators to offer a sportsbook in the state. Here’s a list of some of the most popular online sports betting operators that might get the chance to start a betting adventure in Maryland.
The well-known brand in the online world of gambling is available for both online and mobile users. The trusted brand name is not the only thing that makes BetMGM attractive to thousands of users. BetMGM offers a lucrative rewards program, a great selection of offers and available markets, and an eye-catching platform that is easy to use whether you're a novice or a pro.
For instance, the brand offers a generous welcome offer and several ongoing promotions all of the time. Betting options are another good point of the operator. In-play betting, props, futures--all of the bet types you can think are included on the official website. What’s more, BetMGM also covers all the major sports, leagues and events. Whatever they are looking for, their users won’t have any trouble at all finding it.
Besides great welcome offers and different promotions for both new and existing users, the brand also pays attention to its regular and loyal customers. Wide range of available payment options and adequate customer support are also some of the reasons why we’d be delighted to see BetMGM on Maryland online sports betting soil one day.
DraftKings is one of the most famous daily fantasy sports betting platforms. It’s a true King compared to its competitors! With this brand, users can participate in daily, weekly and season-long fantasy sports contests. There are dozens of different sports that you could choose to enter contests with. Every one of these sports has many different options too.
DraftKings also offers a fully-fledged sportsbook in eligible states. We're expecting DraftKings Maryland to quickly become a reality, as this expansion-hungry powerhouse in the betting world never seems to take long entering a new market.
FanDuel is one of the most successful daily fantasy and sportsbook websites in the USA. Daily fantasy games and real money bets are available for a bunch of sports, including football, NFL, MLB, NBA and NCAA basketball. The contests include tournaments, leagues, head-to-head challenges and 50/50s.
The operator also provides a great selection of promotions for new users to attract them, as well as for its existing users to keep them. Rewards Center is also one of the brand’s good points. Users earn FanDuel points for each contest that can give them some special rewards and help them move forward on their journey.
At the same time, thanks to the partnership with the Meadowlands Racetrack in NJ, FanDuel Sportsbook saw the light of the day too. Now, it’s one of the leading top online betting sites in the Garden State and elsewhere.
BetAmerica is one of fully regulated online sports betting websites dedicated to horse and greyhound racing. In New Jersey, the brand also offers an online casino and regular sports betting activities. Therefore if Maryland online sports betting becomes legal, it’s a reasonable assumption that you’ll be able to bet on a lot more than just greyhounds or horses.
As a racebook, BetAmerica offers a lot of betting lines and it features all the essential US races, along with those from all around the world. More than 300 races are available, including those from the USA, Australia, Canada, Ireland and the UK. Besides that, the operator also provides different statistics and informational content for the races.
When it comes to greyhound races, there are more than 1000 of them every week, and when it comes to the sportsbook, some of the most popular sports are covered. However, the best part is the quality of selection and highly competitive odds.
We really hope that soon you’ll also be able to register at this online sports betting platform in Maryland and see what we are talking about.
William Hill is one of the most well-known online bookmakers in the whole world. So, describing it as one of the top sports betting sites won’t come as a shock to anyone. Good range of markets, impeccable live streaming service and in-play markets, combined with quite attractive promotions, safe and secure payment options, as well as fast and effective customer support; these are the reasons for which a great number of users joins the William Hill betting community on a daily basis.
William Hill also features an online casino, but it remains to be seen if it’ll become available in MD since now we are all focused on the Maryland online sports betting scene.
Maryland Online Sports Betting: Events and Betting Markets
From national sports events to hometown team games, Maryland is bursting with spectator and gambling opportunities. You can enjoy professional and college-level sports like football, baseball, horse racing, basketball, lacrosse, and motocross, to name a few.
If you want to participate in MD sports betting, keep an eye out for the most popular events. Apart from giving you more opportunities to bet on different markets, these sports allow you to immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere.
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Maryland Online Sports Betting: Popular Maryland Events
Here’s a brief overview of the top Maryland sports betting events:
When licenses go live for Maryland sports betting, you’ll be able to visit a range of licensed Maryland betting sites offering all these sports markets, and then some. On top of this, it’s also likely that you’ll have access to Maryland sports betting apps, allowing you to gamble on the go.
Common Types of Bets
One of the most common types of bet are Moneyline bets. With this type of bet, you simply pick who you believe will win. That’s really pretty straightforward and there’s not much to say about this type of bet. Just take a look at odds, enter your stake and the bet is placed.
Totals are some similar type, too. Also known as Over/Under bets, these are pretty simple wagers. Usually, totals are related to the number of goals, points scored during a particular event, or they take into account some other statistical number of the game, no matter the final outcome. When placing a total bet, you need to predict if the total will be under or over the number given by the operator. Together with Moneyline bets, they are a great choice for beginners or those who prefer to keep it simple.
On the other hand, if you’d like to try some of more complex and exciting betting options, here are some of the suggestions:
Point Spread Bets
We’ll try to explain this type of bet with an example. If you ever played basketball as a kid against someone who’s way older than you, they would give you some additional points at the beginning of the game, to give you the equal chance of winning.
Point Spread works pretty much the same way. A bookmaker adds some points to the underdog team to make it fair play. Of course, these points don’t have an impact on the actual score, but they are used to decide who gets to win the game from the bookmaker’s point of view.
Parlays and Accumulators
These types of bets are pretty complicated and definitely not recommended for novices. With parleys and accumulators you actually place a few bets as a part of one single wager. In case, one of the picks proves wrong, you’ll lose your bet.
For example, by placing an accumulator, you can bet on 5 different horse races within one single wager. However, to win it, all the selections have to be accurate. Of course, this type of bet implies higher risk, as well as higher potential payouts.
Most Popular Sports to Bet On
Of course, the NFL is one of the most popular sports in the United States and the same goes for betting. Some of the other common choices include the following sports:
Of course, everything depends on the bettors’ taste. Somewhere some sports are more popular than others and vice versa. We have also noticed that fantasy sports betting is quite a thing nowadays. This type of entertainment has really turned into a worldwide phenomenon.
Betting on Pro Sports Teams in Maryland
There are many professional teams with roots anchored in Maryland. Let’s look at some of the top names and examine the various Maryland sports betting opportunities.
NFL Betting in Maryland
In the Old Line State, football is king. Two National Football League teams hail from Maryland, along with multiple college-level teams. As a result, you can look forward to various betting markets at Maryland sportsbooks when MD sports betting is live, including point spreads, moneylines, parlays, teasers, props, and futures.
Washington Football Team and Baltimore Ravens
The Washington Football Team plays at the FedExField Stadium, while the Baltimore Ravens call M&T Bank Stadium home. Up until 1983, the Baltimore Colts also played in Maryland before relocating to Indianapolis.
NBA Betting in Maryland
The National Basketball Association is one of the most-watched leagues in the US. Thus, it’s no surprise that it’s also a top choice to wager on. When Maryland sports betting launches, you can expect a flurry of activity in this market.
Here’s a glimpse at some of the basketball betting opportunities that Maryland sports betting apps and Maryland sportsbooks will likely allow: moneylines, point spreads, over/under, props, futures, and much more.
Since there are no professional basketball teams in Maryland, many people often look to the neighboring states’ sports scene for inspiration. So, if you want to participate in NBA betting in Maryland, your best bet is to go with the Washington Wizards.
Here’s a fun fact: the Wizards initially began playing in Maryland, where they gained the name Baltimore Bullets.
NHL Betting in Maryland
The National Hockey League is another prime example of a popular sporting event. When the state officially launches sports wagering, you can expect a plethora of betting opportunities for this market at Maryland betting sites. Here, some of the most common markets include moneylines, point spreads, over/under, futures, props, and more.
Similar to the story of the NBA, Maryland doesn’t boast any NHL teams. If you want to bet on a top-rated side, we suggest checking out the Washington Capitals. If you want to dip your toe in collegiate teams, the heavyweight names include Towson University and Stevenson University.
MLB Betting in Maryland
Maryland boasts one MLB team and several college teams. If you want to bet on baseball, you can expect the following markets to be available at Maryland sportsbooks when MB sports betting launches: moneylines, handicaps, total runs, props, futures, and much more.
Established in 1901, the Orioles have been based in Baltimore since 1954. The franchise is part of the Eastern Division in the American League. If you want to bet on the MLB, this will be a team to look out for on Maryland betting sites.
Maryland Online Sports Betting FAQ
Finally, here are some of the frequently asked questions regarding the status of Maryland online sports betting activities.
Is sports betting legal in Maryland?
The Senate approved Maryland sports betting in November 2020, and by May 2021, the practice became law. Expect bets to go live sometime during the 2021-2022 NFL season.
Is it legal to play at online casinos in Maryland?
No, the language of HB 940 does not describe the legality of online casinos in Maryland. Therefore, until there's a law explicitly allowing it, you won't be able to find casino games on your favorite Maryland sports betting sites.
What kind of gambling does Maryland allow?
Currently, you can bet on horse racing, play at one of six land-based casinos, and participate in daily fantasy sports. Additionally, you can enter the state lottery or visit sweepstakes sites, an alternative to real money Maryland betting sites. In 2021, sports betting joined the list of legal gambling activities, with licenses to take effect later in 2021 or early 2022.
Can you gamble online in Maryland?
Not yet. Maryland doesn’t permit certain online gambling activities, but online sports betting did become legal as of May 2021. You just have to wait for operators to secure licenses, and soon after, they'll release their betting platforms on PCs and mobile devices.
How old must you be to gamble in Maryland?
You need to be a minimum of 21-years-old to participate in any betting in Maryland. The exception is pari-mutuel horse racing, which states that you must be at least 18-years-old.
Maryland Online Sports Betting: Common Payment Options
Different operators provide different payment options. The most important thing is to find an operator providing safe and secure money transactions and all top sports betting sites we have mentioned here do.
Credit and debit cards are among the most popular payment methods at online sports betting sites. Electronic wallets are also some of the popular options, especially recently. Among some other methods, we can enumerate PayPal, Direct Bank Transfers, Prepaid cards and cryptocurrencies.
Every bookmaker decides what type of payment methods will be offered, so the best thing is to wait and see what Maryland sportsbooks will offer in the terms of banking options.
Like we have already mentioned, the Maryland online sports betting operators can be granted access to the MD online betting scene via a partnership with the existing brick and mortar casinos or horse racetracks.
Live! Casino & Hotel
Live! Casino is the largest casino in the state. It offers a great number of games one can play. There are hundreds of slots and various table games. It’ll be great to see the online casino of Maryland Live! However, let’s get back to Maryland online sportsbooks.
This casino has already agreed with a sports betting operator. The Maryland Live! has teamed up with FanDuel and these two companies made an agreement. Assuming Maryland online sports betting becomes legal, FanDuel will start providing the casino with sports betting service. We keep our fingers crossed!
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore is a home for more than 2000 of the most innovative and hottest slots. This casino also has a great selection of poker machines. Over 150 of them are available.
This casino also offers a great deal to all high rollers and various types of promotions, especially for their exclusive members. The table games selection is quite impressive too. There are more than 150 different table games, including different variants of poker, blackjack, craps, baccarat and roulette.
Rocky Gap Casino Resort
Rocky Gap Casino is also one of MD casinos offering great entertainment. The casino offers more than 600 slot machines. When it comes to table games, you can try out your luck on roulette, blackjack, poker or Mississippi Stud.
Rocky Gap Casino is definitely a place to satisfy your taste for excitement. Take a stroll through the casino and find your favourite games.
Hollywood Casino Perryville
Hollywood Casino Perryville is operated by Gaming and Leisure Properties. With over 1500 different slots machines and dozens of table games such as craps, blackjack and roulette, it’s a great source of fun.
At the same time, Hollywood Casino occupies an important place in Maryland's gambling history since this is the first casino to open in the state. Will it manage to open the first Maryland online sportsbook too?
Final Thoughts on Betting in Maryland
After years of waiting, Maryland sports betting is finally becoming a reality. Once licenses start to get approved and go live, eager bettors in the Free State will be able to wager on sports and other competitive events as soon as fall 2021.
Estimates range from the beginning of the NFL season to its culmination at the Super Bowl in early 2022. At any rate, you can definitely expect to be able to place bets online in Maryland soon.
Until operators launch, you can enjoy other gambling activities in Maryland, like pari-mutuel horse racing, the lottery, bingo, and land-based casinos.
States where you can already place an online sports bet today: