Maryland is famous for many things: it’s the home of the National anthem, home to the first US school and the first state to enact Workmen’s Compensation laws. But the state has been divided when it comes to gambling. Maryland was one of the first states to ban all forms of gambling, only to legalize it again more than 30 years later, which makes it an interesting case in terms of the legalization of US sports betting.
Is it legal to bet on sports in Maryland?
As of 23 November 2022, online sports betting is legal in Maryland along with betting in physical settings. This includes both college and professional sports. The legal gambling age in Maryland is 21.
Maryland voters approved legal sports betting in November 2020 and Governor Larry Hogan signed HB 940 into law in May 2021, allowing for the first retail sportsbook to open in December that year. Contention around online sports betting continued for some time, along with legal and bureaucratic delays.
In June 2022, Governor Hogan wrote to the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) urging them to approve Maryland online sports betting before the National Football League (NFL) regular season was due to start on September 8, 2022.
The process took longer still, but was approved in time for the Thanksgiving Day NFL action and the 2022 World Cup. Now, Maryland bettors can bet both online and in retail locations via state-licensed betting companies, with tax revenues reinvested in local communities.
Which Sportsbooks are Available in Maryland?
Several sportsbooks applied for legalization in Maryland. The following seven were awarded licenses by SWARC to go live on November 23rd 2022 at 9:00am.
- Barstool Sportsbook
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
What Sports Can I Bet On?
Now that online and mobile sports betting has been legalized in Maryland, sports bettors are able to wager on a wide range of events and markets. Here are some of the most popular sports you can bet on.
While there are no Maryland teams present in the NBA, its premier college basketball team, the Maryland Terrapins, play in the NCAA Big Ten Division. Winners of the Championship in 2002, the Terrapins have appeared in the final four of the competition on two occasions ‒ once in 2001, then again a year later. For the 2021-2022 season, they finished 11th in the division. If you want to get involved in Maryland sports betting and basketball is your game of choice, wagering on college basketball is legal throughout the state.
Maryland is represented in the NFL by the Baltimore Ravens at the M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens have fared pretty well in the history of the NFL, qualifying for the playoffs 13 times since 2000, and achieving two Super Bowl titles – first in 2001 against the New York Giants, then again in 2013 where they defeated the San Francisco 49ers.
Looking for Maryland sports teams to back in the MLB? Then the Baltimore Orioles, playing from The Oriole Park at Camden Yard, are the ones for you. In earlier years, the O’s had great success, appearing in six World Series fixtures between 1966 and 1983, and winning three of them in 1966, 1970 and 1983. At present, they stand fifth in the East American League with plenty left to play for in the season.
While Maryland isn’t represented in the NHL, the Maryland Blackbears compete in “the league of opportunity”, aka the North American Hockey League (NAHL). The team is fairly new on the scene, having only been founded in 2018, and as such, they stand as the first team from Maryland to play in the NAHL. Hockey season doesn’t begin until October so there’s plenty of time to get accustomed to the team updates, and prepare your sports wagering tactics for the season ahead.
Golf is another popular sport to bet on at Maryland online sportsbooks. If you’re interested in team events, the Ryder Cup is the place to go – it pits teams from Europe and the United States against each other every two years. Golf’s Grand Slams also offer a wide array of betting markets, these are The Masters, the US Open, The Open Championship and the PGA Championship. The best American golfers right now include Scottie Scheffler and Patrick Cantlay.
Tennis is another sport featuring Grand Slam tournaments. These are also referred to as majors and include the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. These four tournaments were established between 1877 and 1905, so there’s a rich history in the sport of tennis. If you enjoy the Ryder Cup, check out tennis’s Laver Cup – established in 2017, it pits Team Europe against Team World each year.
Horse racing is one of the best sports for picking up bonuses at Maryland sports betting sites. Whether it’s price boosts or best odds guaranteed on a particular race, there are always ways to get better value for your bet. The Preakness Stakes is held on Armed Forces Day right here in Maryland, at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. It’s one of the biggest horse racing events in the world, having been inaugurated all the way back in 1873.
Maryland Sports Betting Site Bonuses?
Sports betting in Maryland is available through a small selection of licensed sites. The good news is that these sites—which include the likes of BetMGM and Barstool Sportsbook — are well established in the US and already have a variety of promotions up and running. Here’s a selection of betting site bonuses you’re likely to come across.
A standard bonus offer that’s typically found on online betting sites is a matched deposit. In simple terms, a matched deposit means that whatever value of deposit you put down will be matched by your selected online sportsbook – it usually reads as a percentage from 25% up to as high as 200%. As generous as this may sound, you will, of course, come across terms and conditions of use. The offer is always weighed down by wagering requirements, so it’s important to read the T&Cs in full before committing.
A great welcome for new customers, sportsbook free bets allow punters to branch away from their usual playing format without having to stake their own cash. As we always recommend, read through the terms and conditions related to your chosen bonus offer, as it won’t often be as simple as accepting a free bet and having an open choice across the whole site. Typical terms can relate to a deposit requirement, or the free bets only being valid with particular betting types and at certain odds, so be certain of all possibilities before accepting and placing a deposit.
A risk-free bet is when an online sportsbook offers a return on your bet, even if you lose. It will never be a huge amount, but you’ll likely be offered free credits or maybe a second chance at betting on a game. Risk-free bets are a common welcome bonus offer and can be a reassurance to new players that all hasn’t been lost. T&Cs may include caps on winnings and withdrawal restrictions.
Payment Methods Available at Maryland Sports Betting Sites?
Like the range of bonuses on offer, the fact that Maryland online sports betting sites are well established ensures there are plenty of payment methods available to choose from. Take a look at the options below to help decide which would be the best fit for you.
Always available when it comes to sports betting, debit cards are a reliable way of betting on your favorite team. Although there are many other methods that offer much faster withdrawal times, you won’t ever have trouble finding a sportsbook that accepts debit cards, and this method will always qualify you for bonuses. If you’re a Visa debit card holder, you may be able to use Visa Fast Funds to shorten the withdrawal time from a few days to 30 minutes.
e-Wallets are a quick and safe way to ensure your money gets to where it’s meant to be. Nearly everyone has heard of PayPal but there are other e-wallet options such as Skrill and Neteller, all of which are ideal for those a bit wary of handing over personal banking information to an online betting site. e-Wallets often come with the option of an app, so it’s really easy to keep an eye on your transactions, request withdrawals, or process payments while you’re out and about. Be mindful that some online sportsbooks will attach bonus exemptions to e-wallets.
This payment method comes as a PIN number attached to vouchers that can be bought over the counter and used at Maryland sports betting sites. Having purchased the card, all you need to do is enter the PIN into your chosen online betting site, and your money will be transferred as a deposit. Prepaid cards, such as Paysafecard, are a safe way of wagering. You only have the value of the card to play with so you’ll find it hard to go over budget, and because you only need to enter the PIN number, none of your personal banking details are available to the site. The only downside is that most sites won’t be able to process withdrawals back into a Paysafecard account, so you’ll need to use a secondary payment method.
Skrill is one of the most popular e-wallets around for mobile sports betting. It offers instant deposits and fast withdrawals that are often completed as soon as the sportsbook has completed its internal processing. All you need is your email and password to set up a payment, so there’s no need to share your bank details. Like other e-wallets, the main downside is that it’s often excluded from deposit bonuses.
Neteller offers similar benefits to Skrill such as fast withdrawals and top security. Both e-wallets are actually part of the same Knect loyalty program, where you can collect points when you make transactions and exchange these for rewards. There’s also the Net+ Virtual Prepaid Mastercard which allows you to spend your Neteller balance anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
Venmo is another popular e-wallet that’s exclusively available here in the US. It’s free to use and offers the usual benefits of a digital wallet such as fast withdrawals and secure logins. With Venmo Offers, users can earn cashback on their purchases with selected merchants. As for using it for deposit bonuses, just be sure to check the terms and conditions to check whether it’s eligible.
Mastercard is a reliable alternative to Visa and other bank cards, so if you’re already set up with a Mastercard debit card it may make sense to use that for your betting payments. The downside is that there isn’t yet an equivalent of Visa Fast Funds, so withdrawals with Mastercard are likely to take 3–5 working days.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin aren’t available at many Maryland sports betting sites just yet, but they are increasing in popularity. With Bitcoin you’ll benefit from super speedy transactions and you won’t have to share any personal banking info with the betting site, instead paying directly from your crypto wallet. Just be sure to do your research before purchasing Bitcoin and especially before using it for gambling purposes, as its value is far more volatile than fiat currencies.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Maryland
Daily fantasy sports betting is completely legal in the state of Maryland and has been for some time, with DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo Fantasy Sports all offering popular services. Like traditional fantasy games, players put together a team of professional players from a chosen sport and earn points based on their performances. Rather than taking place over a whole season, daily fantasy games are usually a single day of competition. Each player pays entry and has the chance to win a share of the pot if their team outperforms the rest.
What Else Can I Bet on in Maryland?
If Maryland sports betting isn’t for you, there are a whole host of gambling verticals you can enjoy. As well as the Maryland state lottery, residents may also play social casino games at sites including Zynga, Double Down, Slotomania and Big Fish. The state also has a number of land-based casinos, at which residents may play games, such as slots, poker, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, sic bo, and various electronic table games
|Rocky Gap Casino Resort
|16701 Lakeview Rd NE, Cumberland, MD 21530, USA
|Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
|1525 Russell St, Baltimore, MD 21230, USA
|Hollywood Casino Perryville
|1201 Chesapeake Overlook Pkwy, Perryville, MD 21903, USA
|Live! Casino & Hotel
|7002 Arundel Mills Cir #7777, Hanover, MD 21076, USA
|10218 Racetrack Road, Berlin, MD 21811, USA
|Monday – Wednesday 8am – 4am
Thursday 8am-12amFriday – Saturday 24 hoursSunday 12 am – 4am, 8am – 4am
|MGM National Harbor
|101 MGM National Ave, Oxon Hill, MD 20745, USA
Are offshore gambling sites legal in Maryland?
No. Offshore gambling sites are illegal in Maryland, which means players should avoid these at all costs. However, aside from legality, players should also avoid offshore gambling sites and betting sites because there is no regulatory body to monitor them. This means they may not be secure or may not have measures in place to protect vulnerable players, and there’s no way of knowing who is handling the money you deposit into these online accounts.
It’s easy to spot an offshore gambling site by looking at the website’s domain name. Any domains ending in .EU or .AG do not hold a license to operate in Maryland.
Maryland’s criminal law prohibits participating in or organizing gambling except when expressly permitted by the state. Under Section 12 – 102 of the state laws, an individual cannot gamble or operate a sportsbook. If an individual violates the state’s gambling law they will be guilty of a misdemeanour and can be imprisoned for at least 6 months and fined between $200 and $1000.
Is It Safe to Bet on Sports in Maryland?
Maryland’s sports betting sites are licensed and regulated by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA). The MLGCA was founded in 1973 and has overseen the state lottery during that time, while the Maryland Racing Commission oversees the state’s harness and thoroughbred horse racing industry.
Now that sports betting license applications have been approved by SWARC, online wagering will now come under the remit of MLGCA too. Betting at a licensed site ensures you have some protection from malpractice on the part of the sportsbook.
Still, it’s up to bettors to gamble responsibly. If you’re worried that you, or someone you know, may be suffering from problem gambling, you can contact the National Council on Problem Gambling for support.
You can contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline via:
You can contact the Maryland Council on Problem Gambling via:
Email: [email protected]
How old do I have to be to gamble in Maryland?
While Maryland residents must be 18 to participate in the state lottery or partake in parimutuel wagering on dog and horse races, the legal age for casino gambling is 21.
The journey to legal and regulated sports betting in Maryland
1791 – The first form of legalized gambling in Maryland came in the form of charitable lotteries, which were intended to help benefit churches and public work initiatives. There were so many different lotteries that they became a hotbed of corruption and illegal activity.
1834 – The state stopped issuing licenses for these ‘good cause’ lottery games due to many reports of corruption and cheating. It was another 26 years before the last of the lotteries stopped running.
1870 – Pimlico Race Course opened its doors for business in Baltimore.
1911 – On 2 October the Racetrack at Laurel Park opened its doors for business.
1920 – The state’s racing board was formed to oversee two racetracks in that state.
1947 – Four counties in the south of Maryland permitted slot machines, installing the machines in various establishments across the counties. This led to an explosion of mechanical slot machines across the state. There were so many of these machines that they could be found in almost every gas station, store and mall.
1963 – After much campaigning, Maryland’s anti-gambling group successfully had slot machines banned from the state.
1968 – The last slot machines were removed from the state.
1973 – The state reintroduced a lottery for residents to play. This is known as the Maryland Lottery.
1992 – Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibiting sports betting across US states. Four states were made exempt from the law: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. These states had legal sports betting regulations in place.
2008 – Residents approved an amendment to the constitution that would bring slot machines back to five specified locations in the state.
2012 – Casino table games and slots were made legal following the result of a public referendum. After this, projects began to start building casino venues in Maryland.
2018 – In February, lawmakers introduced a sports betting bill titled HB 1014. This bill was introduced with the intention of forcing a public referendum on sports betting if federal law prohibiting sports betting was repealed. The bill was unsuccessful.
On 14 May, the Court reached a decision. In a 7–2 vote, it was agreed that one of the clauses in PASPA violated the Tenth Amendment. This paved the way for all US states to decide whether or not to legalize sports betting. In the weeks after the repeal of PASPA a number of US sportsbooks launched across the country, and Maryland lawmakers began exploring how to go about introducing legal and regulated sports betting.
November 2020 – An election was held with Maryland voters supporting the installment of sports betting in the state.
April 2021 – Bill HB 940 passed through Maryland State legislature, meaning sports betting was made legal.
July 2021 – Only a few months after the legalization approval, The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency approved the rules and specifications by which sports betting would be acceptable.
December 2021 – The first retail sportsbooks opened their doors, with the first bet being placed by Gov. Larry Hogan at the MGM National Harbor.
June 2022 – Gov. Hogan wrote to the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) urging them to approve Maryland online sports betting before the National Football League (NFL) regular season was due to begin.
23 November 2022 – At 9:00am, seven sportsbooks went live across the state, marking the official opening of online and mobile sports wagering in Maryland, having been awarded licenses by SWARC and the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA).
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sports betting legal in Maryland?
It certainly is. The first retail betting stores opened in December 2021, followed by Maryland online sports betting in November 2022.
What sports can I bet on?
Just about everything! Licensed Maryland sports betting sites offer markets on basketball, football, baseball, hockey, golf, tennis, soccer, horse racing and much more.
Are there any sports betting apps that I can use in Maryland?
There are currently seven state-licensed sportsbooks in Maryland. These are Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, BetRivers Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, FanFuel Sportsbook and PointsBet.
Can I bet on college football?
Absolutely – all college sports are legal to bet on in Maryland.
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