The sports betting industry is making its way through Maryland. Retail sports betting is now permitted at a handful of Maryland casinos, and more could be opening soon. In addition, Maryland bettors can enjoy legal casino games, legal daily fantasy sports, and even horse race wagering.
However, the online wagering industry is still underdeveloped in Maryland. At this point in time, you won’t be able to find any legal online casinos or poker sites. For now, that leaves the sports betting action to a variety of high-quality retail casinos and in-person sports betting. Let’s take a closer look at the retail casino scene in this historic state so you know where to spend your money the next time you visit.
Is Gambling And Sports Betting Legal In Maryland?
Yes, and no. At this time, online sports wagering is legal, but mobile apps are not yet available. As of August, the hope is that the mobile sports betting industry will be available in Maryland sometime before the end of 2022. For the time being, Maryland bettors can place sports bets at five different retail casinos in the state.
MGM National Harbor
MGM’s National Harbor casino complex opened in December 2016 and offers 2800 slot games ranging from regular reel games to video poker and progressive jackpots slots. Of course, they partnered with BetMGM to offer a retail sportsbook as well, which is now open. It also includes a dedicated high-limit room, a poker room, and a wide range of restaurants. The casino offers a 1200-seat theater for live entertainment events, plus a 300-suite hotel and a marketplace of luxury retail stores filled with high-end brands.
Horseshoe Baltimore Casino
Baltimore is host to the Horseshoe Casino, which includes 122,000 ft.² of gaming space and 20,000 ft.² of food and beverage outlets. In total, 2200 slot machines are available, including 150 video poker machines and a dedicated high limit area with up to $500 slots. Table games in a World Series of Poker room round out the game offerings, but you’ll also find a variety of restaurants for any eating desire. Caesars Sportsbook partnered with the casino and opened a retail sportsbook.
Live! Casino Hotel Maryland
At the Live! Casino and Hotel, you’ll find 200 game tables and 4000 slot machines, plus 2 high-limit rooms for optimistic gamblers. You can also find a FanDuel sportsbook. A selection of restaurants ranging from a buffet to a seafood restaurant provide eating options for all visitors. Also included is a live entertainment venue with 75,000 ft.² of space and a luxury hotel with 310 rooms, 17 floors, and a spa.
Ocean Downs Casino
Located near Ocean City, Ocean Downs is one of the oldest casinos, opening back in 1949. It underwent a $45-million remodeling project in 2010. Not only does it offer a casino complete with slots and table games, Ocean Downs is also home to a horse-racing track and a TwinSpires retail sportsbook. Ocean Downs Casino is open from 8am to 2am daily and features some tasty restaurant options.
Hollywood Casino Perryville
This expansive casino features 75,000 ft.² of gaming space and is open from 8am to 2am every day. Here, you’ll find 1500 video slot machines, a 150 seat buffet, a grill restaurant, and a gift shop. It also includes 1600 parking spaces. They also have a partnership with Barstool Sportsbook to offer a retail sportsbook inside the casino.
More Casinos Expected To Offer Sports Betting Soon
On top of these five casinos, sports bets can now also be made at Bingo World in Baltimore. In early August, Bingo World became the latest facility to accept sports wagers in Maryland after partnering with BetRivers Sportsbook earlier this year. The facility is the first Maryland retail sportsbook site outside of a casino, but it is not expected to be the last.
Maryland’s three off-track betting sites, Riverboat on the Potomac, Long Shot’s, and Greenmount Station, are also getting closer to opening. Both facilities have received their sports betting license from SWARC, but must get the final regulatory approval from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission. The final approval should come once the necessary upgrades are complete. It would not be surprising to see these locations start offering sports wagers in the coming months.
Live Sports Betting In Maryland
While the sports betting industry hasn’t fully launched yet, online sports betting operators including BetMGM and FanDuel have already secured licensure by partnering with retail casinos.
The legalization of online sports wagering in Maryland bodes well for any future online casino industry in the state. Gov. Larry Hogan signed off on HB 940, the law that fully legalizes online sports wagering in Maryland. This means the launch of Maryland sports betting apps is close. As of July, the hope is that mobile betting will launch before the end of 2022.
Furthermore, the Maryland General Assembly (the organization that led the charge for legal online sports betting) has also heard proposals from various Maryland lawmakers suggesting expansions to online casino and poker operations.
While there isn’t any concrete news as of yet, odds are good that online casino and poker games may become available over the next couple of years. It likely all depends on how much revenue the future legal online sports wagering industry brings in. If it does well, the state government may well decide to expand online gambling options to enjoy even more gambling-related revenue.
While the mobile betting industry goes through the regulatory process, Maryland bettors can still bet on sports at retail locations. Retail and mobile sportsbook licenses are divided into two classes:
- Class A licenses are reserved for the casinos in Maryland and other exclusive sports arenas or wagering sites
- Class B licenses are reserved for non-sports related companies and locations, such as racecourses, state fairs, or bingo parlors
Many retail casino locations announced their sportsbook grand openings in December 2021.
Maryland bettors will hopefully see mobile betting in the state sometime before the end of 2022. For now, they can visit the above sportsbooks at many of the great local retail casinos.
Maryland Gambling FAQs
Maryland bettors need to be 21 years of age or older. This is the age you need to be in order to place a sports wager or enjoy any other gambling activity in the state. Maryland sportsbooks will require users to verify their identity by providing proof that they are 21 or older when signing up for betting accounts.
The Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) currently regulates most gambling activities in Maryland, although the Maryland Racing Commission is strictly responsible for regulating horse races and associated wagers. The MLGCA has approved the rules and regulations for retail betting, and they are in the process of preparing for the launch of mobile betting.
The casinos in Maryland are all owned by commercial enterprises like Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, and so on. There are no Native American tribal casinos at this time.
Yes, but only to provide daily fantasy sports at this time. Once mobile betting is launched in Maryland, the DraftKings Sportsbook app is expected to be one of the first sports betting platforms available in the state. It also wouldn’t be surprising to see a DraftKings retail sportsbook at some point.
FanDuel Sportsbook is available at Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland. The FanDuel Sportsbook mobile app is not yet available in Maryland; however, DFS is available through its mobile app in the state. The mobile app is expected to be available once the mobile betting industry is live in Maryland.