Maryland began as one of the first states in America to legalize sports betting, so it is now somewhat behind the times. Maryland sports betting was only being legalized for retail in the tail end of 2021, and online betting is not far behind, set to be ready for launch legally for the first time sometime in the second half of 2022.
Maryland sports betting has always been one of the forerunners of the concept. It was the first state in the USA to officially legalize and impose regulations on fantasy sports.
It is the home of some incredible sports teams, and its proximity to Washington D.C. makes the Old-Line state an optimum location for sports betting. The state is also home to one of the most worldwide famous horse racing tracks, the Preakness Stakes, which takes part yearly in the Triple Crown horse racing events for the U.SS.
Maryland sports betting offers so much to discover, and it feels like the state is just getting ready to take off properly in terms of sports betting. So, we’re taking a look at the history and what has changed regarding Maryland sports betting and how you will soon be able to go about betting on your favorite sports teams.
Best Maryland Sportsbook
Our expert picks for the best Maryland online sports betting websites are listed below. Each Maryland sportsbook below has a betting app and is licensed by the Maryland gaming control agency.
DraftKings Sportsbook Maryland
Innovator of daily fantasy sports, the DraftKings Maryland sportsbook app already has experience operating legally in the Maryland market. However, its sights are on expanding its reach to the rest of the country. The transition from daily fantasy sports to sports betting was a natural step for the company. The Draftkings sportsbook betting app and promotions consistently ranked among the best available atU.S..S. sportsbooks.
Because the MGM National Harbor Casino is already running in Oxon, it is almost certain that the BetMGM Maryland app will be granted a license to run in Maryland. This will allow the company to provide one of the most innovative betting apps in the industry in addition to a sizable initial deposit bonus.
Caesars Sportsbook Maryland
It was a significant participant in the market for sports betting in the United States, and its merger with William Hill created a formidable partnership. The retail version of Caesars Maryland’s mobile sports betting was introduced in 2021 at the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore. In addition, Caesars will provide a mobile app that features excellent betting markets and promotions that are among the best in their respective categories.
FanDuel Sportsbook Maryland
FanDuel Maryland app, much like DraftKings, is a veteran in the daily fantasy sports (DFS) industry in Maryland. On December 10, 2021, FanDuel will open its retail sportsbook in the state of Maryland at the Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland in Hanover. Its application receives high marks for its user-friendly interface, simple operation, and attractive sign-up offer.
Legal Online Maryland Sports Betting
As it stands, legal sports betting in Maryland is retail only. However, it looks like online sports betting is set to become legalized by the end of 2022. Once the processes involved with overseeing the first group of physical sportsbooks opening is finished, Maryland will likely turn to the legalization of online Maryland sports betting. Gov Larry Hogan has recently asked for the launch of legal sports betting before the beginning of the 2022 NFL season. Governor Hogan has asked those involved in this process to work hard to make the launch as soon as possible.
The hurdle that seems to be tripping up the whole team in their attempt to legalize online sports betting is that before any licensing rules can be set, a study on the disparity in Maryland sports betting must occur. This study must identify any special efforts needed to better integrate women and minority-owned businesses into the sports betting industry. Maryland sports betting legislation states that women and minority-owned businesses must be included.
When online Maryland sports betting does launch, it is expected that the Old Line State will allow up to 60 online Maryland sports betting licenses, opening up space for a thriving market, including some of the best sportsbook apps that are available. Legalizing online sports betting will be an excellent move for the Old Line State as it will ensure that Maryland Lottery and Gaming will approve more sites to ensure they are all acting within legal standards, unlike the many offshore betting sites available and highly high-risk.
How To Pick A Maryland Sports Betting Site
Currently, online sports betting is not legal in Maryland. However, with retail betting legalized in December of last year, online Maryland sports betting looks to be legalized by the end of 2022. If this is the case, a few online Maryland sports betting sportsbooks are expected to apply for licenses from Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission. These include BetMGM Maryland, Caesars Maryland, DraftKings Maryland, FanDuel Maryland, FOX Bet Maryland, and PointsBet Maryland.
Although online Maryland sports betting isn’t legal yet, it is looking very likely to become legal later this year, so here are some of the things that you should be looking out for at online betting sites in Maryland:
A Good User Interface
Mobile Maryland sports betting apps should use high quality and modern technology with a clear and straightforward user interface. Look for mobile betting apps with easy to find menus and bet slips. In addition, you should be able to use your mobile sports betting apps as quickly on any device as you can on desktop, even mobile devices.
Lists of Betting Odds
Although there will be slight differences across different betting sites, bettors in Maryland should be able to find up-to-date betting lines, odds, and prices on a wide range of games. If you always want to find the best deals, you should consider signing up for more than one sportsbook in Maryland.
Most online sports betting apps will offer several live betting options, such as betting on significant sporting events and even daily or weekly events and offers. Look at each sportsbook’s different options, as this will differ between each operator in the state of Maryland. These promotions should be well displayed and easy to find and access for all players.
Security and User Safety
Make sure that any online Maryland sports betting is done legally and through properly regulated sites. This will protect your information and help you to ensure that you are placing bets at reputable sites. There will be strict laws once online sports betting becomes legal in Maryland to ensure user data is treated securely through encryption services. If you’re looking for an online sports betting operator, check out their operational and financial health history to determine if it is an operator you can trust.
Regulations in terms of fair play in online sports betting are still being put together, given the new state of the online sports betting industry. This is particularly true for the state of Maryland, where sports betting was only made legal in December 2021 and is not yet legal online.
Although there are not yet strict guidelines, when choosing your online sports betting operator, you should look for an operator with a good reputation for fairness and clear outlines for their policies regarding the cancellation of bets and the resolving of any disputes.
When it comes to online betting, you should be able to deposit and withdraw money to your account quickly. In addition, the fees should be low, any processing times should be honored by operators, and there should be more than one option in terms of payment methods. Finally, if possible, look for online sports betting operators who allow connecting land-based and online accounts with the same retailer to keep all of your information and money together.
Whether you’re trying out Maryland sports betting for the first time or you’re a seasoned hand after betting in other states, the offers and bonuses provided by sportsbooks can help out players. If you’re looking for an excellent place to start, look for great welcome bonuses and perks that can give you the upper hand in sports betting online.
When picking an online sports betting site, you should look for a positive overall experience. This means you should find high-quality, straightforward, and easy to use websites that offer customer service as good as what you would find in person, as well as lots of opportunities to place various bets.
Online bookmakers should also be evaluated on several extra factors if you want to find the best. First, take a look at any online bookmaker’s reputation. Make sure they offer good, comprehensive, and helpful customer service and consider the popular opinion. Next, read reviews and talk to other bettors to help you choose a reputable online sportsbook; also, make sure to find information on the reliability and accessibility of your online sportsbook.
Their sites should be easy to access and navigate, offering multiple payment options and the chance to place your bets how you want to. This includes mobile-compatible web pages and compatibility across several operating systems and browsers. Online sportsbooks should also communicate clearly to users if there are to be any outages and dealt with in a timely and efficient manner.
Online bookmakers should offer players the option to help you connect to your bank account so that any deposits and withdrawals can be processed quickly and efficiently. There should also be several options, including free transactions that may take longer but be simpler to quicker transactions that may incur a small fee.
There should also be a reasonable variation in the different kinds of bets that sports bettors can place in Maryland. Although other states will incur further limitations on wagering, a good sportsbook should offer bettors a wide range of betting options within these state limitations, including worldwide sports and big events, as well as several team props, player props, and derivatives.
The final thing you should look for in an online sports book is better odds. Although there will be a variation of odds between different sportsbooks, you should ensure you are not paying unreasonably high fees. Make sure you understand the odds correctly before trying to pick your online sportsbook so you can check each odds carefully.
History / Timeline Of Sports Betting in Maryland
Despite its current lack of legal sports betting, Maryland was one of the first states in the United States to legalize gambling. The Free State first legalized good cause lotteries in 1791 until all lotteries were outlawed in Maryland 43 years later in 1834. In 1920, Maryland made pari-mutuel betting legal which helped to establish the state as one of the best places for horse race betting in the USA.
Between 1943 and 1963, slot machines were legalized in certain counties of Maryland, but this didn’t hold, and when they were outlawed again in 1963, they were banned for a further 45 years. In 1973, Maryland launched its state lottery, and then years later, in 2008, slot machines were yet again legalized. Since the legalization of slot machines in 2008, Maryland sports betting has taken several quick steps forward, with Maryland sports betting being approved in the later part of 2020, and then this change was signed into law just last year, in 2021.
The signing of bill HB940 meant that both online sports betting and retail sports betting are now set to be legal in Maryland. However, as of now, there are no legal operators running, which makes all online sports betting illegal until there are legal operators up and running in the state. This is because of the disparity study yet to be undertaken to ensure equality and fairness across all online sports betting operators, which is essential for online sports betting to be carried out legally.
There is a lot of hope that Maryland sports betting will be able to take this step soon, as the disparity study is underway as of March 17th, 2022, but as it stands, there is still no end date in site to hint towards when residents will be able to take to the internet to place bets on state sports.
Maryland Sports Teams
Maryland has several great sports teams to place bets on, from the Baltimore Ravens NFL team to the PGA Tour, which played in Maryland just last year in 2021 for the BMW Championship. In addition, there is a lot of opportunity for Maryland sports betting fans to travel to the states nearby and gamble, such as the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania, which have many opportunities for Maryland sports betting participants. Maryland also resides very close to WashingtD.C..C., which has incredible options for betting, with teams from WashingtD.C..C. playing in all four major U.S. sports leagues.
When the sports betting legislature was passed in Maryland in 2021, many licenses were issued, and many teams became available for bettors to gamble on.
Football is the place to be in Maryland sports betting, with two professional teams housed here. Both the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Commanders are from Maryland. Over the last four seasons, two big names have been making noise in the betting world, with Coach John Harbaugh being a favorite due to his incredible spread record as well as the Raven’s former MVP Lamar Jackson being a big draw for those looking to place bets on NFL teams and players.
Regarding Major League Baseball, Maryland sports betting is often focused on the Baltimore Orioles. However, the state’s close range to WashingtD.C..C. means that bettors usually root for teams from the capitol city, especially teams such as the Washington Nationals, the current defending World Series champions.
Sadly, Maryland doesn’t yet have any NHL or NBA teams, so people again tend to rally in support of WashingtD.C..C. teams such as the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards. The close affinity of the citizens of Maryland with teams from Washington is particularly true for the Wizards. They started in the state of Maryland under the name the Baltimore Bullets.
Regarding college sports, Maryland sports bettors tend to love the Maryland Terrapins basketball team and any teams participating in the Army-Navy college football rivalry games.
A total of nine Maryland schools compete in the country’s basketball Division I. The University of Maryland, Navy, Loyola University Maryland, Coppin State, Maryland – Baltimore County, Morgan State, Mount St. Mary’s, Towson, and Maryland Eastern Shore.
Retail Sports Betting in Maryland
Retail sports betting became legal in Little America very recently, just back in December 2021. The first retail sportsbooks opened the same month; the BetMGM Sportsbook at the MGM National Harbor, the Caesars Sportsbook at the Horseshoe Casino, and then the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Live! Casino Hotel both followed quickly behind. The next to open was the TwinSpires Sportsbook and the Ocean Downs Casino. The most recent casino to open its doors is the Hollywood Casino Perryville.
In January of 2022, the five retail sportsbooks in Maryland reported a handle of $32.5 million in just their first month of being open.
The first of these sportsbooks, the BetMGM Sportsbook at the MGM National Harbor Hotel and casino, feature an expanded Quartz Hybrid Electronic Table Games area with live dealers serving at the 40 machines. One unique setting for bettors to gamble in; is the hotel’s Outdoor Gaming Terrace. This area has six video roulette machines, a variety of slot games, a bar, and great views of the surrounding area. The hotel also has a 110-foot state-of-the-art screen in its Sportsbook & Lounge, designed for Maryland sports betting fans to sit back and enjoy games together alongside food and drinks.
As you would expect from the first state to legalize gambling, there are six casinos available in Maryland to enjoy. Unfortunately, they don’t all offer Maryland sports betting besides the mentioned MGM National Harbor Hotel. There is the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, which offers 10 drinking and dining experiences, live gigs, entertainment, and a mini golf course, but unfortunately only deals in off-track racehorse betting when it comes to Maryland sports betting.
However, Maryland sports betting fans have some suitable state neighbors for this situation. Just a 2-and-a-half-hour journey from Baltimore is New Jersey’s Atlantic City, famed for its 31 casinos available to Maryland sports betting fans. New Jersey is the gambling capital next to Las Vegas and the fastest growing legal casino destination due to its less strict restrictions on gambling.
It was one of the first states in the country to legalize sports betting as soon as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was abolished in 2018. Plus, it’s home to one of the best land-based casinos in the country: the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa. Not only does it have over 4,100 slot machines, 200 table games, 75 poker tables, and the BetMGM Sportsbook to enjoy, but there are six dining options, eight drinking venue options, an event center, a festival park, a music box, and a spa complete with pool and jacuzzi and beauty treatments. This 2,200-room hotel has everything you need to relax and have fun while indulging in some Maryland sports betting.
And on the way, they can stop in Delaware to enjoy one of the three casinos in the state, which are all racinos. The Dover Downs racetrack, the Harrington racetrack, and the Delaware Park racetrack. Of course, if Maryland sports betting fans wanted to go north instead, they could browse Pennsylvania’s 14 casinos, six of which are racinos.
There are no tribal casinos in the state of Maryland and none in any of the neighboring states of New Jersey, Delaware, or Virginia, so any Maryland residents hoping to place bets in a tribal casino should take a short trip to the neighboring state of Pennsylvania. Here, there are Tribal-owned casinos that exist U.S. U.S. land. These casinos are the Wind Creek Bethlehem and the Mohegan Sun Pocono, which Maryland sports betting participants can visit to place a bet.
Maryland has three state recognized tribes: the Accohannock Indian Tribe, the Piscataway Indian Nation, and the Piscataway Conoy Tribe. In addition, there are eleven in Virginia, two in Delaware, and three in New Jersey, so any of these may see benefits in opening a casino to pursue Maryland sports betting in the future.
Daily Fantasy Sports
In 2012, Maryland was the first state in the USA to make fantasy sports legal. This was much before daily fantasy sports became popular, but Maryland still introduced rules to regulate the industry in 2017. By 2018, The Old-Line State had passed a law to move all overseeing and regulation of fantasy sports under the control of the State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.
In Maryland, there is a minimum age limit of 18 years old to participate in fantasy sports, and operators are not permitted to offer any contests on college sports. To play fantasy sports in Little America, you can visit FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook.
Offshore Sports Betting
Although offshore betting may have been a more popular choice in the past, now that Maryland sports betting is becoming increasingly legal, there is much less need for offshore gambling. Now that you can participate in Maryland sports betting in physical sportsbooks, there is more reason than ever to avoid offshore platforms.
However, opt for a regulated platform if you place any bets through an offshore operator. If an operator is not regulated, they are significantly less likely to hold a license and are therefore much more likely to scam you or refuse to refund your money should anything go wrong.
The safest offshore companies to opt for are those platforms regulated by companies from Curaçao or Costa Rica. These are often the safest to use, given their international recognition.
Maryland Horse Racing & Off-Track Betting
In Maryland, horse racing is regulated by the Maryland Racing Commission. The Free State is home to the Preakness Stakes, one of the world’s most famous and prestigious horse racing events. Horseracing has always been considered an exception to the sports betting ban, and Maryland sports betting fans are not about to let that chance go by.
This world-famous event has been running at the esteemed Pimlico Racecourse since 1873. This event is the middle leg of the even more significant Triple Crown event, which takes place between the beginning of May and the beginning of June and features the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes.
A horse who wins the Kentucky Derby has won the main event for sure; however, a horse winning at more than one event can create a stir, as only 13 horses have ever won all three events (making them a Triple-Crown winner) despite the event has been running for well over a hundred years.
If you’re looking to do some Maryland sports betting on this world-famous event, there are a few places you can do so safely and legally. The first is the popular betting sites TGV (Television Games Network), BetAmerica, and TwinSpires.
Final Thoughts / Summary
Despite the long time getting here, Maryland is finally opening up its first selection of land-based sportsbooks and looks to be just months away from opening up online Maryland sports betting too. With the state’s great selection of sports teams, horse racing history, and even its position as the first state to officially legalize and regulate fantasy sports, the new legalization of Maryland sports betting could set it up as a thriving hub for sports betting in the future.