Is Sports Betting Legal in Maryland?

By Matthew Glazier
 |  4 mins
8E3DFB6F-93D4-478C-99D9-112C2BB6C04E  Fact Checked by Mark Fordham
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Is Sports Betting Legal in Maryland?

Legal sports betting in Maryland has gone live, with betting sites now able to take your wagers so long as you are of betting age. On Wednesday November 23, 2022, the state became the latest to allow residents to enjoy mobile and online sports betting. 

Many have already been enjoying the chance to place sports wagers at land-based casinos since 2021, but this represents a whole new dawn, and the online betting activity in other states suggest that anywhere between 80% and 90% of bets placed in Maryland will be done digitally on Maryland betting sites, with thef best Maryland betting apps sure to be in high demand in the state.

Since the Maryland sports betting bill was passed in May 2021, we have been building up to the moment that online wagering would be given the green light. Now MD is following in the footsteps of several other US states, and there are several licenses that have been handed out for you to enjoy all different types of sports betting.

How Many Legal Online Betting Sites are There in Maryland?

On Wednesday 23 November, seven online betting sites have been given the green light to launch, and they are as follows with each providing generous betting welcome offers:

  • BetMGM
  • Caesars
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • PointsBet
  • BetRivers
  • Barstool

There are a further three online operators set to be part of a second wave, with Betfred, Fanatics and BetPARX also being granted a license.

The first seven Maryland bookmakers originally went live on November 21 as part of what was known as an “operational test”. These eight-hour controlled demonstrations were conducted to demonstrate that the operators were fit for purpose when it came to accepting bets from customers based in this state.

The Maryland Lottery then examined these demonstrations on November 22. All sites are experienced operators in other states, so the seven bookmakers have opened for business and accepted online sports bets ahead of Thanksgiving.

As is the case with other American states, any online operator needs to have brokered a deal with a bricks and mortar gambling establishment in Maryland. Therefore, retail partners such as Hollywood Casino in Perryville, MGM National Harbor and Bingo World are just some who have helped make the launch possible.

Do Sportsbooks in Maryland Have Betting Offers at Launch?

Each of the seven sportsbooks in Maryland have new customer betting offers. There’s nothing to stop someone from taking advantage of every welcome bonus, with consumers having a wide range of betting offers from which to choose. Just make sure your getting the latest Maryland betting promo codes.

Indeed, we estimate that there is a total of over $4,000 in risk-free wagers across the seven different online platforms for bettors to choose from. The operators are going out in search of new business, so there are some big deposit match bonus offers available.

Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook are some of the NFL betting sites that are proving to be the most aggressive with their offers. All of them are offering $1,000 or more in first-bet losses. Barstool also has a giveaway where new players can get $100 in bonus cash by wagering $1 or more.

New customers at BetRivers can get $500 back on a losing first bet, while DraftKings went live with a pre-launch offer of $200 in free bets for new customers. Similarly, FanDuel has $200 of free bets available once a customer has registered and wagered $5.

What is the Maryland Sports Betting Bill?

On May 18, 2021, the Maryland sport betting bill was passed into law. Governor Larry Hogan put pen to paper and set the wheels in motion for land-based sports wagering, with online sports betting now following hard on its heels.

The signature followed the state of Maryland’s legislative body passing the bill on April 12, with the General Assembly passing it as an emergency bill. From that point onwards, the Maryland State Lottery was able to develop regulations and appoint commission members.

MD sports betting was actually approved by the state’s voters before the bill was passed, with a November 2020 poll leading to residents voting in the majority to allow this to happen, much to the delight of the state officials who hope to boost the coffers through tax from sports betting.

Maryland Sports Betting History - Online Betting Timeline

  • May 2018: New Jersey’s Supreme Court victory means any state can legalize sports betting.
  • November 2020: Maryland’s voters approve the legalization of sports betting.
  • April 12, 2021: Maryland’s legislative body passes HB940 as an emergency bill.
  • May 18, 2021: Governor Larry Hogan signs HB940 into law, leading to sports wagering being legalized.
  • November 21, 2022: seven sportsbooks launch operational test ahead of full online launch.
  • November 22, 2022: Maryland Lottery perform audit before giving green light.
  • November 23, 2022: online and mobile sports betting go live.

Why has Maryland Legalized Online Sports Betting?

As with any other US state, the most obvious reason why Maryland has chosen to legalize online gambling is due to the taxation that is involved. MD can expect to significantly boost revenue by allowing multiple operators to accept online and mobile bets from residents, with other states demonstrating what a valuable asset this can be for the coffers.

Maryland is among the 20 most populous states in the country, and the demographic outlines that there are some highly affluent residents. It’s a state that forms part of the highly populated Mid-Atlantic territory, and all sports betting revenue will be subject to a 15% rate. It could lead to an estimated $20 million being generated in annual tax revenue. 

Why You Should Only Use a Legal Regulated Sportsbook

It goes without saying that you should only place online sports wagers with sports betting sites that are regulated by the state of Maryland. Placing bets with licensed NBA betting or NHL betting operators means you are guaranteed a safe and secure experience, especially as the online bookmakers are all affiliated to land-based operations.

All of the regulated sportsbooks have been audited by the Maryland Lottery and have to show a commitment to responsible gambling. It’s not worth taking any risks by playing with an offshore betting site where you won’t be afforded any protection.

What Age Do You Need to be to Legally Bet in Maryland?

The minimum age for sports betting in each state in the US is different so pay attention to the laws before attempting to wager in your state. In Maryland, the legal age to bet is 21.

Which Sports Are You be Able to Bet on in Maryland?

There are a wide range of sports available for online betting in Maryland. Naturally, we’re at an interesting stage of the NFL season, NFL champion will comfortably be the number one sport for wagering initially, although basketball, MLB betting and ice hockey will all be popular when during their regular seasons. 

College football betting and college basketball betting will also see plenty of interest, especially in the New Year as we get closer to March Madness and during the College Football Playoff. We might also see wagers placed on the 2022 soccer World Cup, where the United States are one of the participating teams.

Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal?

Sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel specialize in Daily Fantasy Sports, and they will be available for Maryland customers. Residents can sign up, earn a new customer bonus and play the latest DFS tournaments.

Are Online Casino Games Legal?

Online casino gambling is not legal in Maryland, and it’s only going to be sports betting and Daily Fantasy Sports that can be enjoyed by residents. We’re probably some way off casino wagering being legalized, with online and retail sports betting remaining the chief focus.

As former Head of Marketing at Bet365, Matthew Glazier has a wealth of experience in the betting industry. He continues to provide dynamic content for a range of websites and specialises particularly in football and golf, all the while supporting his beloved Tranmere Rovers.

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