Maryland Online Gambling Laws

Last-minute sports betting negotiations by the 2021 Maryland General Assembly ended April 12 with the passage of a generous Maryland sports betting bill, opening up in-person and mobile sports betting opportunities at almost every level. 

Maryland House Bill 940 authorizes as many as 100 sports betting licenses — three-fifths of which will go to mobile sports betting operators. State lawmakers beefed the bill up with extra licenses in the waning hours of the session on April 12, the session’s final day. This makes the Maryland gambling bill unusual in comparison to other states, with up to 60 mobile betting apps being possible in the state.

Maryland casinos are likely to be the first to launch sportsbooks, as are mobile operators that are partnered with the casinos. Other early mobile sports betting licensees may include Pimlico Race Course, OTBs, and similar entities that already have some gambling infrastructure in place.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed off on the legislation in May. The expected launch date of Maryland sports betting is by the end of 2021.

Online Gambling Authorized In Maryland

Maryland online sports bettors will have a wide range of sports and athletic events to wager on when sportsbook apps launch in the Old Line State this year. Professional, collegiate, and Olympic or international sporting events, or portions of those events, and authorized national award events like the Oscars are all fair game for sports betting in Maryland under HB 940. 

Sports betting on esports or video game competitions with participants age 18 or older, sanctioned motor races, and eligible horse races will also be legal under the new law. Betting on high school sports or high school athletic events will remain illegal.  

Types of sports betting that will be legal in Maryland under HB 940 include:

  • Single-Game Bets
  • Teaser Bets
  • Parlays
  • Over-Under
  • Moneyline
  • Pools
  • Exchange Wagering
  • In-Game Wagering
  • In-Play Bets
  • Prop Bets
  • Straight Bets

Bettors will need to be physically located in the Old Line State to place sports wagers legally in Maryland. No out-of-state sports wagers will be accepted by sports betting operators licensed in Maryland. 

Other types of legal online gambling in Maryland include:

  • Online Horse Race Betting (available through TVG, TwinSpires, BetAmerica, and similar apps)
  • Daily Fantasy Sports (legal in January 2017)  
  • Sweepstakes Casinos (Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots)
  • Sweepstakes Poker Sites (Global Poker) 

Maryland Online Sports Betting State Tax Rate And Licensing Fees

Tax Rate15%
License Fee$500,000 (renewable for 5 years at 1%
of the licensee’s avg. annual sports wagering proceeds for preceding 3 years)
Date Signed Into LawMay 18, 2021. Pending official launch.

Timeline For Passage Of Maryland Sports Betting

  • May 2018  U.S. Supreme Court strikes down PASPA, allowing states outside of Nevada (and a few other states that had been grandfathered in by the law) to authorize and regulate sports betting within their jurisdiction.
  • Nov 2020  Maryland voters approve sports betting through a legislatively referred state statute in the 2020 General Election.
  • April 2021  The Maryland General Assembly approves a framework for Maryland retail and mobile sports betting on April 12. The legislation will become law immediately after it is signed by Gov. Larry Hogan, or otherwise becomes law.
  • May 2021  Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed the betting bill into law.
  • June 2021 Sports Wagering Application Review Commission held a Sports Betting 101 conference to answer questions and provide a roadmap for potential applications for a sports betting license.
  • June 2021  The announcement that Maryland sports betting regulations will be approved on July 15, aiming for a sports betting kickoff by the end of the year.

Maryland Online Gambling Fact Table

Minimum Age To Gamble21 for sports betting; 18 for DFS and online horse race betting
Types Of Legal Online GamblingSports betting, DFS, online horse race betting, sweepstakes
Date Of LegalizationSports betting: April 12, 2021 (legislative approval); DFS: January 2017
Who Regulates Online Gambling In Maryland?Maryland State Lottery And Gaming Control Agency

Maryland Sports Betting Bill – FAQs

Is online gambling safe?

It depends on which site you use. Gambling through state-regulated or monitored websites and mobile gambling apps is the safe way to bet online in Maryland. Legal retail and mobile online gambling operators are regulated or monitored by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. It is not considered safe to share personal or financial information with non-regulated online sportsbooks. 

How Can I Ensure The Safety Of My Personal Information When Using Online Casinos And Sports Betting Sites In Maryland?

Only bet through online gambling sites that are state-regulated and/or monitored. Gaming vendor certifications and enforcement information are usually available for public viewing on the state regulatory website. Also, make sure that the online gambling website or mobile gambling app you choose is secured by encryption software. A secure website is often indicated by a padlock icon in the URL address bar.

Who Operates The Online Gaming Sites In Maryland?

Online gambling sites in Maryland are operated by both legal (state regulated) online gambling operators and illegal operators. Legal sites typically cite their regulatory and licensing agency or agencies on the website. Illegal sites operate outside of the bounds of Maryland law and are often run offshore. 

What Happens If I Have A Dispute With An Online Gambling Site In Maryland?

State regulators with the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency are responsible for investigating issues involving licensed gambling operators in Maryland. Any compliance issue should be brought to the agency’s attention.

Who Is In Charge Of Regulating Maryland Online Gambling Sites?

Online gambling in Maryland is regulated by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. Vetting, licensing, and monitoring of all sports betting licensees, for example, will be overseen by this agency. 

What Is The Difference Between Legal And Illegal Online Gambling Sites?

Legal online gambling sites are regulated by the state or jurisdiction where a bet is placed. Illegal online gambling does not offer much, if any, security. Bets placed with illegal, unregulated sportsbooks are a good way to lose your bet early and often.

About the Author

Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, she has been known to watch UK basketball from time to time.