Welcome to Maryland Sharp

This is your guide to the launch of online sports betting apps in Maryland. Sports fans could see up to 60 mobile betting apps and sites as well as up to 40 retail sports betting locations. Bettors can expect the first wagers placed at some point in the fall of 2021.

Only Sportsbooks Approved by

MD Approved

Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission
Stay safe – play at legal and licensed online sportsbooks.

When Will Maryland Launch Online Sports Betting?

Maryland lawmakers hope to see live sports betting apps before the end of the year. After legalizing mobile betting late last year via a referendum, the state legislature approved sports betting legislation months later. Governor Larry Hogan has signed off on the bill and the licensing process is currently ongoing.

Regulations on sports wagering saw approval this summer. The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) was formed to approve businesses that apply for a sports betting license. This includes license distribution to retail locations and mobile platforms. Through the application process, additional review is done through the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA).

Revisions to the current regulations will be finalized and published in the Maryland Register later in the fall. An official launch date may be announced shortly after, but some retail locations are expected to already have live betting in the near future.

Maryland Sports Betting Offers

Here is a breakdown of various top sportsbooks in the industry and the current offers they feature. These are likely competitors for early licenses because they’re large and well-established or have partners or parent companies already operating in the state. They will each offer different sportsbook bonus offers for new bettors.

Top Maryland Sports Betting Apps For 2021

Best For Gambling Promotions

20% deposit match bonus up to $1,000

Available On: Android, iOS, Web Browser

States Allowed: AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, NH, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY

Best For Gambling Promotions

DraftKings Maryland

Free Bet Bonus Offer

$50 Free Bet

With $5+ Deposit

Deposit Bonus Offer

$1,000

20% Deposit Match Up To $1,000

Licensed By

MD State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency

Maryland Partner

Baltimore Ravens

DraftKings has entered into the Maryland market in an agreement with the Baltimore Ravens. They have become the second official sports betting and daily fantasy sports partner for the franchise. M&T Bank Stadium and official team media will feature DraftKings branding.

Pros

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Dynamic betting markets

Cons

  • Some app glitches

Terms and Conditions Apply. 21+

Best For Betting Market Variety

Up to $1,000 risk-free bet

Available On: Android, iOS, Web Browser

States Allowed AZ, CO, DC, IN, IA, MI, MS, NV, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY

Best For Betting Market Variety

BetMGM Maryland

Risk-Free Bet Offer

$1,000

Code: SHARP

Licensed By

MD State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency

Maryland Partner

MGM National Harbor

Forest Heights, MD

BetMGM offers live stream betting and a high-quality rewards program that gives you bonuses the longer you use the app. There are excellent betting markets for international and European sports like soccer and rugby. Its American sports selection is great as well. BetMGM has a relationship with the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. In May 2021, the sportsbook announced a partnership with the Baltimore Ravens, the franchise’s first agreement with a sports betting operator.

Pros

  • One of the largest variety of odds
  • Live streaming of select sports, including soccer and tennis

Cons

  • Some glitches on website; slow sportsbook app
  • Not as easy to use as other sportsbooks

Terms and Conditions Apply. 21+

Best For First-Time Bettors

Up to $5,000 risk-free bet

Available On: Android, iOS, Web Browser

States Allowed: AZ, CO, DC, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, NV, TN, VA, WV

Best For First-Time Bettors

Caesars Sportsbook Maryland

Risk-Free Bet Offer

$5,000

Licensed By

MD State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency

Maryland Partner

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore

Caesars is an international sportsbook operator that may decide to foray into Maryland to strengthen its United States presence. It offers fantastic betting markets and odds for both US and international sports, plus an easily navigable interface and a good opening bonus. For a limited time, Caesars is offering a $5,000 risk-free bet for those who sign up with the new app.

Pros

  • Comprehensive rewards program
  • Retail casino located near M&T Bank Stadium

Cons

  • Betting markets don't have as much variety

Terms and Conditions Apply. 21+

Best For Bonus Flexibility

Up to $1,000 risk-free bet

Available On: Android, iOS, Web Browser

States Allowed: AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, NJ, PA, TN, WV, VA

Best For Bonus Flexibility

FanDuel Maryland

Risk-Free Bet Offer

$1,000

Licensed By

MD State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency

Maryland Partner

Maryland Live! Casino & Hotel

Hanover, MD

FanDuel Sportsbook has a similar presence and features as its competitor, DraftKings. Bettors can use both the daily fantasy and sportsbook platforms and share their winnings across both. Note that initial deposits are limited to the platform selected. Bonus money received is the most flexible compared to other sportsbooks. FanDuel sports betting will be featured at Maryland Live! Casino in Hanover.

Pros

  • Bonus money has one-time playthrough, high flexibility
  • Clean user interface
  • Fast loading and navigation on website, mobile app

Cons

  • Markets are limited in variety, parlay ability
  • Deposited funds cannot be transferred between daily fantasy and sportsbook platforms

Terms and Conditions Apply. 21+

Best For Parlays and Odds Boosts

Up to $2,000 risk-free bet

Available On: Android, iOS, Web Browser

States Allowed: MI, CO, IL, IN, IA, NJ, PA, WV

Best For Parlays and Odds Boosts

PointsBet Maryland

Risk-Free Bet Offer

$2,000

Fixed Odds or "PointsBetting"

Licensed By

MD State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency

Maryland Partner

Riverboat on the Potomac

Colonial Beach, VA

PointsBet is an Australian-based sports gaming operator with unique offerings. Betting markets that cannot be found in other sportsbooks are available on the platform. Bettors even have the potential to create their own markets when available. “PointsBetting” feature offers a bigger risk on sports gambling, but can ultimately turn a higher payout on a specific event. PointsBet branding will be featured at the Riverboat on the Potomac.

Pros

  • Offers daily parlay boost to increase odds
  • Free bets can be divided up between two to four increments
  • Quick access to local sports events, parlay betting
  • Unique betting markets on popular events

Cons

  • Odds not as competitive as other sportsbooks
  • Mobile app, layout not as user friendly as competitors

Terms and Conditions Apply. 21+

    Maryland Sports Betting: What To Watch

    The good news is that sports betting is fully legal in Maryland. But there’s still a lot to discuss when it comes to the actual terms of the sports betting industry, such as who will be awarded licenses, the details surrounding licensure requirements, and more.

    17 retail locations were designated in the sports wagering law and began applying for sports licensure in September. These include casinos, horse tracks, sports facilities, off-track betting locations, and bingo halls Three casinos are awaiting licensure from the SWARC: Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, MGM National Harbor, and Maryland Live! Casino & Hotel.

    It was anticipated that these licenses would be awarded during a meeting by the SWARC on October 14. That meeting has since been postponed with no additional information or a new date on the official website.

    In the end, up to 47 retail sports betting licenses and 60 mobile licenses will be issued. It’s likely that Maryland could see online sports betting licenses untethered to a local casino. Right now, there are six gambling operators currently providing either casino games, daily fantasy sports, or other activities. These organizations are likely recipients for early licenses:

    • Caesars Entertainment
    • MGM Resorts International
    • Penn National Gaming
    • The Cordish Companies
    • Golden Entertainment
    • Churchill Downs Incorporated

    There are also various off-track betting and horse racing facilities to consider. Already, Riverboat on the Potomac and PointsBet have reached an agreement for online and retail betting. PointsBet has been an established worldwide sportsbook since 2017. They currently have a multi-year partnership with NBCUniversal.

    Riverboat on the Potomac is a small business geared toward residents in Maryland and Virginia. The establishment’s betting is licensed through Maryland’s lottery regulations.

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    Maryland Sports Betting Overview

    Maryland may join the ranks of states with newly legal sports betting industries quite soon. Since both online and retail sports betting became legal in November 2020, lawmakers have been scrambling to hash out the details. They believe the industry will increase the state’s revenue.

    On April 12, 2021, the state legislature approved a sports betting bill that includes all of the details about how online sports betting will operate in Maryland. Some of the key provisions include:

    • 10 retail licenses for Maryland’s casinos, Pimlico and Laurel Park racetracks, the state’s three professional sports teams, larger OTBs, and electronic bingo halls. This will allow these entities to operate retail sportsbooks onsite.
    • 37 retail licenses for bars, restaurants, smaller OTBs, and amusement centers to also operate retail sportsbooks onsite.
    • Up to 60 mobile sports betting licenses by competitive bid, allowing operators to launch apps and online betting sites.

    In May of 2021, Gov. Hogan signed off on the legislation, starting the process to offer both retail and online sportsbooks to those in Maryland.

    Sports betting regulations saw approval in the middle of July by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission. 228 pages of regulations have been published in the Maryland Register. The public has gone through a 30-day period to comment on the new regulations before finalization with a consultant that works with SWARC. Final publication of these rules are expected on October 22.

    SWARC held its first public meeting in August. They designated 17 Class A and B locations noted in the Sports Wagering Law for investigation by the MLGCA. Different classes are based on establishment size and application fee. The license application process began for these establishments on September 14.

    Other businesses not listed will need to go through a background investigation that takes approximately one to two years. 30 Class B retail licenses are available under the current law. The application process will open up for licenses at other retail locations and online sportsbooks at a later date.

    Publication of the rules in the Maryland Register officially took place on August 27. This triggers the mandatory 30-day public commenting period, which ended on September 27. Residents could contact legislators to voice their opinion on the new set of sports wagering rules and regulations.

    All the written comments and a recording of a public meeting on September 22 are accessible on the MD Gaming website. A number of comments are from sports gaming operators, activist groups on sports gambling responsibility, and local businesses. Regulation suggestions include lowering the wager limit from $5 million to $100,000, banning credit card use for deposits, and a same-day launch for mobile platforms.

    Despite sports wagering not happening prior to football season, Gov. Hogan hopes that action can take place prior to the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl.

    History Of Gambling And Sports Betting In Maryland

    Maryland has had a somewhat unique gambling history, overall. In fact, there was a 21 year period from 1947-1968 during which slot gaming was fully legal in Maryland. It wasn’t until 2008 when five of the major casinos currently in the state were allowed to provide table and slot games once again. Table games were added only a few years later, in 2012.

    There are currently six casinos operating throughout Maryland in cities like Baltimore City. The most recent casino, MGM National Harbor, opened in 2016.

    But while retail casino wagering may be fully on the books, Maryland’s online gaming scene is in its infancy. Technically, there aren’t any laws explicitly outlining online gaming in any form. In a November 2020 election-day referendum the voters of Maryland approved sports betting across the state. The referendum was needed to approve a constitutional amendment to expand gambling in Michigan. 

    Timeline Of Maryland’s Gambling History

    • 1870 – Horse racing was legalized in Maryland
    • 1947 – Several of the state’s operating casinos ignore directions to avoid slot games and install them anyway
    • 1952 – Bingo and other games of chance were legalized in this state
    • 1968 – Slot machines are officially ruled illegal
    • 1972 – The state’s official lottery is launched
    • 2008 – Expansions to current casino offerings are ordered, allowing for slot machines to return and table games to be offered
    • 2018 – The Supreme Court strikes down PASPA
    • Jan 2020 – Sen. Chris West pre-files SB 58, which would legalize sports wagering in the state
    • Nov 2020 – Residents vote to legalize sports wagering by amending the Constitution
    • Apr 2021 – State legislature approves House Bill 940
    • May 2021 – Gov. Hogan signed off on the legislation
    • June 2021 – PointsBet and Riverboat on the Potomac reach an agreement for online and retail sportsbook
    • July 2021 – MLGCC approves sports betting regulations, subject to publication and review
    • August 2021 – SWARC holds first public meeting, advances sports gambling licensees to pending review from the state lottery commission
    • September 2021 – Baltimore Sun reports that the lottery agency expects sports gambling to go live in late fall or early winter. Applications begin for 17 retail establishments listed in the Sports Wagering Law.

    Maryland Sports Betting FAQs

    Is it legal to gamble at casinos in Maryland?

    Yes. Maryland currently has six operating casinos, each of which provides a plethora of game types.

    Is gambling online legal in Maryland?

    At this time, online sports betting is legal but no apps have yet to launch. There are no options for online casino gaming for real money. 

    Does Maryland have a lottery?

    Yes. The lottery is state-run and can only be played in person.

    Who owns the casinos in Maryland?

    Each casino is owned by an independent commercial entity. 

    How old do I have to be to gamble at casinos in Maryland?

    You need to be 21 years of age or older. This is also the age you’ll need to be to place any sports bets once sportsbooks launch in this state.

    Is it safe to gamble at the casinos in Maryland?

    Absolutely. Each casino is professionally run and has good security for its users. Furthermore, any sportsbooks partnered with casinos will have excellent online security to protect your personal information.