Maryland online sports betting is only months away and sports fans could see the first sportsbook apps in 2021.
For Maryland residents, the last few years have seen a whirlwind of changes to the state’s gambling freedoms. Where the state formally restricted all gambling activities to just horseracing and lottery games, now it offers a variety of casinos and even online gaming options.
Even better, Maryland residents voted to legalize sports betting in a referendum, after which it passed to the Maryland General Assembly so the government could hash out the details and regulate the industry before launch. April 2021 saw the finalization of many details, such as license requirements. The new sports betting bills received the approval signature from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan in May.
The Sports Wagering Law features hundreds of pages in regulations approved by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC). They will review over 350 pages of public comments giving recommendations to adjust these regulations. A finalized set of rules will be published in the Maryland Register on October 22.
A spokesman for Governor Hogan told The Baltimore Sun they are “[doing] everything possible to move quickly” in getting sports betting live. The expectation is later in the fall or early winter.
Want to know what to expect with this budding sports betting industry? You’ve come to the right place. This page will explain everything you need to know about online sports betting in Maryland so you’re ready to place winning wagers immediately after launch.
5 Best Online Sports Betting Apps In Maryland
While Marylanders will have many sportsbook choices, they can expect to see these for sure when sports betting launches: DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, and PointsBet.
Bettors may know DraftKings as a fantasy-sport giant. But once sports betting became legal, it expanded into sports betting and became one of the largest sportsbook operators in the United States. It’s in more states than any other sportsbook, so Marylanders should expect to see DraftKings when sports betting goes online. They have a partnership with the Baltimore Ravens.
New members at DraftKings Sportsbook can now receive a $50 free bet for making a deposit of $5 or more in addition to the sportsbook welcome bonus. DraftKings’ welcome bonus is a $1,000 deposit bonus.
However, don’t let your eyes get too big. It has two steps. First, bettors make their first deposits, which determine how many bonus credits bettors are eligible for. Bettors will qualify for $1 in bonus credits for every $5 they deposit.
After that, bettors actually have to wager money to get the site credits. They’ll get $1 for every $25 they wager. It’ll boost bettors’ accounts as they play. But bettors should temper their bonus expectations. It’s not a free $1,000.
If bettors have been to the MGM Grand in Vegas, then they may recognize its branded sportsbook. As one of the country’s major sportsbook brands, it has one of the largest sports selections on the market. Each sport is further subdivided into many leagues, both domestic and international. There are plenty of parlay bets that bettors can put together, too. Bettors have many choices in terms of lines, sports, and leagues.
However, its welcome bonus may be one of the most eye-catching things about it. It offers a $1,000 risk-free bet to new bettors. That means if bettors lose their first wager, they’ll get whatever they wagered back, up to $1,000. It encourages bettors to wager big on their first bets and keep trying for better outcomes if they lose.
It’ll likely be one of the most competitive sportsbooks in Maryland. In October, the state granted a license to MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, and BetMGM already announced a partnership with the Baltimore Ravens, the first of its kind for the NFL franchise.
Caesars has a partnership with The Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, and this casino was granted a sports betting license by the state in October 2021. This means Caesar Sportsbook could be a sure bet for joining the market when sports betting officially launches in the state.
Caesars Sportsbook offers a generous $5,000 risk-free bet in most states where it’s available. It offers competitive odds and one of the best mobile apps on the market. On top of these great features, it’s backed by Caesars Entertainment, which means bettors can place wagers with confidence.
Although it’s in fewer states than DraftKings, FanDuel can edge out DraftKings in terms of market share. It’s DraftKings’ most direct competitor. It’s partnered with Live! Casino and Hotel, and the casino was granted a sports betting license by the state in October 2021. It’ll bring its daily fantasy sports app and its sportsbook, so bettors will get almost everything that FanDuel has to offer.
FanDuel offers a $1,000 risk-free bet. It’s one of the largest risk-free bets on the market. Like BetMGM, bettors can win their lost stakes back on their first wagers as site credit. This promotion does expire within 14 days after the bettor receives their credit.
Sportsbooks ultimately compete on odds and lasting value. FanDuel tends to have competitive odds on underdogs, so bettors looking to bet long should consider it.
PointsBet has an agreement in place with Riverboat on the Potomac, a local off-track gambling facility regulated by Maryland state law. Once legislation is completed, residents will be able to use the sportsbook either in-person or online. PointsBet offers a variety of sports, numerous promotions, and unique betting markets not found at other sportsbooks.
The typical welcome bonus for PointsBet is a risk-free bet up to $2,000.
Top Maryland Sportsbooks Summary
|Sportsbook||Average Review Score
iOS / Android
|DraftKings||4.8 / 4.1|
|BetMGM||4.8 / 2.3|
|Caesars||4.6 / 4.1|
|FanDuel||4.8 / 4.7|
|PointsBet||4.5 / 4.1|
Online Sports Betting Partnerships
While there are not currently any licensed online sportsbook operators in Maryland, many of the most likely operators to pursue licensure will try to find a retail sports betting partner in the state. Several gambling operators that are already active in the state may decide to provide partnership agreements with companies like DraftKings, FanDuel, WynnBET, Unibet, and more.
Some agreements are in place, such as PointsBet partnering with an off-track betting facility. The Baltimore Ravens have sports betting deals in place with BetMGM, DraftKings, and Caesars sportsbooks.
Alternatively, these gambling operators may decide to go it alone and not offer partnership agreements at all. Currently, active gambling operators in Maryland include:
- Cordish Companies
- Golden Entertainment
- Gaming and Leisure Properties
- Saratoga Casino Holdings
- MGM Resorts International
Some of these companies, like MGM or Caesars, have their own mobile apps and will likely provide both retail and online betting through their own brands.
17 locations named within the Sports Wagering Law are eligible to go through the application process as of September 14, 2021. Under this law, 30 Class B retail licenses and 60 mobile licenses are up for competition. An emphasis is put on retail locations as sports betting goes live in Maryland. In October, the state granted licenses to three casinos – Live! Casino and Hotel in Hanover, MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, and The Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore.
Existing partnerships with agreements or likely to launch sports betting apps:
- FanDuel Sportsbook – Maryland Live! Casino & Hotel
- BetMGM – MGM National Harbor and the Baltimore Ravens
- Caesars – Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
- PointsBet – Riverboat on the Potomac
- Barstool Sportsbook – Hollywood Casino Perryville
- TwinSpires Sportsbook – Ocean Downs
How To Install Online Sports Betting Apps On An Apple iOS Device
- Search for the app on the App Store. Sportsbook apps that are available for iOS don’t have to be hunted down somewhere else. They’ll be on the App Store.
- Download the app of your choice.
- Open the app and find the registration or sign-up section. It’ll either be in the middle of the welcome screen or in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Complete the three registration steps. Sportsbooks ask for bettors’ desired login credentials, personal information, and two security questions.
- Make the first deposit. Depending on the sportsbook, bettors may have to submit additional identity verification at this step.
- Make the first wager. If bettors win, then they’ll find their winnings in the cashier section. If they lose, then they’ll have to choose better next time.
- If bettors have winnings, they can withdraw them from the cashier section.
How To Install Online Sports Betting Apps On An Android Device
- There are two places to find Android sportsbook apps. The first is on the Google Play Store. It recently allowed gambling apps, and some sportsbooks are now available for download on the platform. However, if a user’s app of choice has not yet been approved by Google, they will have to download the Android app directly from the sportsbook website.
- Find the account registration option. It’s either front and center on a welcome page or in the top-right corner.
- Complete the registration steps, which include providing sportsbooks all or part of their social security numbers. It surprises new bettors, but it’s important information for sportsbooks to have. They have strict laws to comply with, and they need to make sure they don’t give money to the wrong bettors.
- Bettors make their first deposits, then make their first wagers. At that point, luck is either on bettors’ sides or it isn’t.
What Makes For A Good Mobile Sports Betting App?
There are a few things that bettors should look for in a strong sports betting app: navigation, easy access to betting lines, stability, and a debugged app.
Finding sports, leagues, and betting lines is the first step to placing a wager. However, it can be an easy one to get wrong, too. If bettors can’t find what they’re looking for easily, then they’ll be more than happy to try somewhere else. Don’t waste time with a sportsbook that makes itself hard to use. There are plenty of good options.
But access to betting lines goes further than navigation. The lines can’t be buried under layers of pop-up menus. They have to be behind as few barriers as possible. Bettors may not mind digging for great lines. But the reality is that the best sportsbook brands put their best lines front and center. There aren’t hidden gems hiding behind endless navigational layers.
The app needs to be stable, too. Sportsbooks aren’t free mobile games without stakes. Sportsbooks process real transactions and guard valuable bettor data. Bettors shouldn’t waste time with sportsbook apps that crash.
But above all, the sportsbook app should be debugged. Debugging is a never-ending process. However, bettors shouldn’t notice an endless list of necessary fixes when they open a sportsbook app. Like stability, sufficient debugging is critical to a good mobile sportsbook.
How Can Players Deposit Money In Online Sports Betting Apps In Maryland?
Sports betting doesn’t work unless bettors can fund their accounts. However, there’s a lot that can go into sportsbook deposits. Here’s everything bettors need to know about them.
Methods To Deposit Money Using An Online Sportsbook App
There are a few deposit methods that bettors will find on virtually every sportsbook. Credit and debit cards are common deposit options. Bank transfers are similarly common and direct. However, these deposit methods come with potential complications.
Not every bank approves transactions to sportsbooks. The culture surrounding sports betting and online gambling has moved faster than some of these bank policies. So the most direct and convenient deposit methods may not be available.
Instead, bettors will be able to use online wallets like PayPal. However, some sportsbooks also use Skrill, another PayPal-esque service. Finally, bettors can fund their accounts with cash. They’ll either have to drop the cash off at an intermediary or use an online service like Vanilla to complete the transaction.
Not every sportsbook app will offer every deposit option. But bettors will find enough commonality among sportsbooks to plan for deposits at multiple sportsbooks.
Apple iOS Users
iOS users can deposit at sportsbooks with the options from the section above. However, bettors won’t be able to use iTunes gift cards or any money on their Apple accounts to deposit funds. Sportsbooks have to know where the money they receive and the award goes to and comes from.
Apple Pay and iTunes gift cards don’t offer a close enough tie to a specific identity to be used for sportsbooks effectively. Apple Pay allows for deposit on some apps, but not withdrawal.
Android users have access to the same deposit options as iOS users. However, Android users can’t use Samsung Pay or Google Pay to deposit in their sportsbook accounts. Sportsbooks need to be able to attach an identity to a deposit. Samsung Pay isn’t foolproof yet, but it could grow into a force one day.
Guide To Betting Online In Maryland
Even though we don’t know the specifics of which operators are getting licenses and which will be passed over, we can still prepare for online sports betting in Maryland by breaking down how to place wagers and take advantage of everything sportsbook apps have to offer.
Online Sports Betting Bonuses In Maryland
One major thing you’ll want to keep in mind is opening bonuses. These apply to any sports bettors that make new accounts with a given sportsbook.
Opening bonuses come in a few major types, and the quality or type of opening bonus can affect which sportsbook is the best choice for your budget or wagering style.
- Deposit match bonuses match your initial deposit into your sportsbook account with an equal or proportionate amount of site credit. For instance, DraftKings has a very well-known deposit match bonus of 20% up to $1000. So, if you were to deposit $500, you would get $100 of DraftKings site credit.
- Risk-free bets protect you against initial wager losses. They refund you with site credit if your first wager is not successful. FanDuel has an excellent example of this in the form of a $1000 risk-free bet. Lose your first wager and FanDuel will refund you up to $1000 (albeit with an assortment of vouchers that come in different values).
- Free bets are usually small amounts of site credit that can be used to try out different betting lines or sections of the sportsbook app. These usually come with big limitations on what betting lines you can use them with. DraftKings offers five $5 free bets (each to be used on a separate wager) and you have to use them within seven days of making your account.
Regardless of the opening bonus that’s most attractive to you, be sure to read the fine print so you aren’t surprised. Most opening bonuses have restrictions, like having to play through the site credit at least one time before you can withdraw that credit as cash.
For example, DraftKings requires that you play through any site credit from the deposit match a whopping 25 times before you can withdraw it as cash. Say that you get $100 from the deposit match bonus as in the example. That means you’ll need to wager that $100 25 times before you can withdraw it. If you lose it, it’s gone forever.
So be sure to fully understand the opening bonus offered to your new account before signing up for a sportsbook.
Local Maryland Teams And Sports To Bet On
Once sports betting is fully up and running, the industry will likely explode in popularity in large part because of Maryland’s collection of popular sports teams. In total, there are dozens of local professional and college sports teams to bet on. Some of the most popular include:
- The Baltimore Ravens, a famous NFL team and two-time Super Bowl champion
- The Washington Football Team, which plays in Landover, Maryland
- The University of Maryland Terrapins college football team
- The Baltimore Orioles, a professional Major League Baseball team that plays in Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Other important Maryland sports teams include the Washington Wizards and the University of Maryland Terrapins, both of which are popular basketball teams. For the baseball side of things, you’ll be able to support the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals, who play in The District. Maryland even has a popular hockey team: the Washington Capitals.
Even beyond these popular professional sporting events, you’ll be able to put money down on sporting events and leagues like:
- Australian rules football
- MMA fighting
- And more
The exact betting markets available to you will depend on the sportsbook you choose to download. Some larger sportsbook operators have more market depth and variety, so they offer a wider range of sporting events to bet on.
Esports Betting In Maryland
Furthermore, some sportsbooks will offer esports betting lines as soon as they launch in Maryland. Esports betting has become more and more popular over time, and it’s likely that all major sportsbooks will offer these betting markets sooner rather than later.
However, be sure to check which sportsbook you plan to use, as only some operators provide betting lines for these events at this time.
What Sportsbooks Are Coming Soon To Maryland?
It’s a bit too early to tell which sportsbook operators are coming to Maryland for certain. However, we can still make some educated guesses about likely operators to pursue licensure, based on their proximity to the state or other factors.
For example, DraftKings and FanDuel are major operators throughout the rest of the country, so they will likely try to acquire licensure ASAP. Furthermore, they already provide daily fantasy sports to Maryland residents. So it would be easy for them to expand their current mobile app offering to also provide sports wagering.
Some organizations already have deals in place with casinos and other betting establishments. PointsBet partnered with Riverboat on the Potomac in June. BetMGM, DraftKings, and Caesars each have a partnership with a major NFL franchise, the Baltimore Ravens. All agreements are pending through legislation review.
Other likely companies to pursue sports wagering licensure include:
Odds are that you’ll see quickly which sportsbooks get licensure since the government will make announcements as soon as agreements are reached.
Legal Betting Vs Illegal Betting In Maryland
Are Legal Sportsbooks Ok To Install On My Phone?
Yes. Legal and licensed sportsbooks have their technology tested by state Gaming Commissions before launching. The Gaming Commission brings an independent auditor in to evaluate the app and all the other software. The sportsbook and the Gaming Commission get a report with findings and recommendations. Illegal sports betting sites simply do not offer bettors the same level of protection or accountability.
How Can I Secure My Mobile Sports Betting Account?
Keeping your mobile sports betting account secure is easy. First, bettors should make sure they’re not letting other people into their mobile sportsbook accounts. That’s the easiest way to make sure that no one gets access to bank accounts or social security numbers.
After that, bettors can make sure no one else knows their passwords. Some sportsbook apps offer additional security options like two-factor authentication. But bettors have to take the initiative and set that up manually.
Maryland Online Sports Betting FAQs
Practically all of them! Maryland’s future sports betting legislation will likely allow you to place wagers on all major American professional sports and a variety of other activities, like darts, cricket, and NASCAR races.
Yes. Legislation that passed in Maryland allows for betting on college sports, including local teams such as the University of Maryland.
Not yet, but you will be able to with most major sportsbook operators that launch in the state.
Class B license holders, which will be reserved for sportsbook operators that aren’t directly related to sports companies, will have a 15% tax on all sports wagering revenue. This will likely be the same for Class A license holders, which apply the sportsbooks partnered with official gambling or sporting organizations.
Any established sportsbook operator with enough cash to pay for the application and the annual fee will be able to apply for licensure. However, most licensed sportsbook operators will probably be partnered with casinos or other gambling organizations throughout Maryland, as well as be established companies in the industry.
Not yet, but it does already offer daily fantasy sports. DraftKings is among the most likely operators to receive licensure as soon as Maryland’s sports betting details are finalized.
Yes. FanDuel partnered with Maryland Live! Casino & Hotel to offer its sports betting app to sports bettors in Maryland.