How To Bet On Sports In Maryland

For the time being, there aren’t any legal sportsbooks to enjoy in Maryland. But that’s soon to change. Maryland voters signed off on sports betting legalization last year, and lawmakers finally passed full legislation in 2021. Gov. Larry Hogan signed the legislation in mid-May 2021 and sports betting should go live sometime late in the fall.

So, although the industry is fully legal, different organizations still have to license applying sportsbooks. No sportsbook has yet launched either a retail location or a mobile app.

Still, sports betting enthusiasts in Maryland have a lot to look forward to. This page will break down everything you need to know about betting on sports in Maryland, so you’ll be ready to download a sportsbook and put money down on your favorite sporting events.

Where Can You Bet On Sports In Maryland?

Nowhere, at the moment. However, the final version of Maryland sports betting legislation allows for up to 60 mobile sports wagering licenses and 50 retail sportsbook licenses. While it’s unlikely that you’ll actually see over 100 different sports wagering locations launch over the next year or so, sports bettors will be able to check out dozens of different options depending on their personal preferences and what each book offers.

Maryland sports betting laws divide all future licenses into Classes A and B.

Class A licenses will be awarded to the six commercial casinos in Maryland and a few different stadiums for professional sports games. There are also a few Class A licenses reserved as incentives for certain professional sports franchises to relocate to Maryland.

Class B licenses are instead being reserved for racecourses, off-track betting parlors, bingo parlors, and other non-sports-related companies or locations. Their application fees for licensure will be significantly lower than Class A licenses.

Online Sportsbooks

Just which online sportsbooks will make the cut? It’s tough to say at the moment, as there haven’t been many announced partnerships between major sportsbook operators or casinos in this state.

However, there are a handful of gambling operators that already provide casino games or daily fantasy sports in Maryland. These are the most likely operators to apply for and receive betting licensure before their competitors.

DraftKings and FanDuel, for instance, both offer daily fantasy sports to Maryland residents. Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International both run commercial casinos in Maryland, and both have their own mobile sportsbook apps active in other states. It’s easy to imagine that both of these companies will press for licensure as soon as possible. Moreover, BetMGM announced a partnership with the Ravens

But this is all hypothetical at the moment. Announcements regarding online sportsbooks will start to pop up over the next few weeks or months. Other major sportsbook operators that might pursue licensure include:

Retail Sportsbooks

Retail sportsbooks will also be popular in Maryland. At the moment, there are six commercial casinos available and no Native American properties. Each of these casinos is expected to open at least one sportsbook and partner with a few other mobile operators.

Although retail sportsbooks will require bettors to be 21 years or older to place a wager. This is both to adhere to Maryland gambling law and because people have to be 21 or older to enter casino properties in the first place. 

Popular Bets To Make In Maryland

Maryland isn’t the most sports-focused state in the country, but it still has its fair share of serious sports fans and even a few professional sports teams.

For example, the Washington Football Team makes its home in Landover. They regularly play games at FedEx Field. Therefore, many sports bettors in Maryland will likely want to put money down on this team for any upcoming events.

Football, overall, is pretty popular in Maryland. The Baltimore Ravens are another popular professional team, who are looking to get their first Super Bowl championship since 2013. The University of Maryland’s football team is one of the top college programs in the Big Ten. 

Basketball is another big sport in Maryland (and across the US). The Washington Wizards and University of Maryland Terrapins are two popular basketball teams for this state. March Madness bets will likely be particularly popular for residents of this state. The annual basketball wagering event draws in hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue every year for many other state governments.

Then, there’s baseball. Maryland has a few teams for fans of “America’s pastime”, including the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals. Hockey, soccer, and a variety of other sporting events are also popular in this state. Top sportsbooks will likely allow bettors to put money down on all of the above events and more.

When it comes to collegiate betting, things are looking up for Maryland sports bettors.

Sports bettors in Maryland will be able to place bets on college teams and events.

As a result, we expect Maryland to be one of the most popular sports wagering states when it comes to college bets and tournaments.

What Kinds Of Bets Can You Place In Maryland Sportsbooks?

The exact wagers that will be available will depend on which sportsbook operators receive licensure. Regardless of which platforms eventually get approval, bettors will be able to place a wide range of bets at both online and retail Maryland sportsbooks.

For example, all sportsbooks will allow you to put money down on moneyline bets. These wagers simply have you bet on which team will win or lose a match.

Spread bets are also popular, especially for games like football. With spread bets, you’ll need to bet on whether a team will win or lose by a certain number of points. Totals bets are similar and are popular for low-scoring games like baseball. With totals bets, wagerers bet that the total points combined from both teams will be above or below a certain amount.

Then, there’s live betting, a development for online sportsbooks that has the potential to bolster the entire industry. Many top sportsbooks these days provide live betting markets for all their users.

Within these markets, bettors can find betting lines that are actively updated by automated algorithms in the middle of a big game. Certain sportsbooks, like DraftKings or BetMGM, even provide live streaming screens so wagerer can put their money down while watching the action unfold right before their eyes.

Live bets aren’t universally provided, however, so take care to download only sportsbooks that provide live wagering opportunities if you care about this option.

What Are Futures Bets?

Some of the most popular sports bets across the country, and likely in Maryland, are futures bets. Futures bets involve wagering on future events or outcomes, especially for championship tournaments like March Madness or the World Series for baseball.

Futures bets often have high payouts since betting odds and profits are higher if you place your wager further out from the event outcome. Again, since Maryland isn’t limiting college bets whatsoever, we expect lots of sportsbooks in this state to provide futures bets for college games and tournaments alongside professional tournament outcomes.

How To Place Prop Bets Using Maryland Sportsbooks

Don’t forget prop bets, which are sure to be a popular offering in Maryland’s sportsbooks just like they are everywhere else.

Prop or proposition bets are unique in that they can focus on an isolated event in a single game, like a player making a home run or a touchdown or a different player boosting his or her batting average by a certain amount.

Prop bets are fun because they have the flexibility to be creative. On most mobile sportsbooks, players will be able to find prop betting markets for most major American sports like baseball and basketball. Prop bets are a little less available for niche betting markets, such as those for darts or rugby.

How Sports Betting Odds Are Calculated In Maryland

Maryland’s sports betting legislation has dictated that all incoming legal sportsbooks have to use official league data if they want licensure. This isn’t a problem as all legitimate sportsbooks already use official league data when formulating their betting lines.

Betting lines for mobile and retail books alike use line-making algorithms or professional statisticians to generate player-friendly odds that offer good profit potential for both underdog and favorite bettors. In this way, most betting lines get a fair amount of action and leave a little money left over for the sportsbook itself, which takes a cut of the action as a vigorish.

Many Maryland sports bettors will undoubtedly want to “line shop,” by checking out the betting lines available for a single event across multiple sportsbooks. Books sometimes have slightly different odds for the same event, so experienced sports bettors might shop around looking for the betting line that provides the best potential payout before putting their money down.

How To Bet On Sports In Maryland

Maryland will not require in-person registration if you choose to use a mobile sportsbook. So the process from choosing a sportsbook to placing your first wager should be fairly straightforward.

  1. First, you’ll need to download the sportsbook of your choice. iPhone and Android users will likely be able to download their sportsbooks from the App Store or Play Store.
  2. After downloading a sportsbook, players will need to install it on their mobile device and register by providing key personal information.
  3. Registration should only take a few minutes between entering the information and the book’s staff looking it over for any errors or irregularities.
  4. Once an account has been made, sports bettors will be able to fund their account using credit or debit card transfers, bank transfers, electronic wallet transfers, or other methods.
  5. After funding, players can navigate to the betting lines of their choice and place a wager.

    Alternatively, sports wagerers will have the option to visit a retail sports betting location at a casino, racetrack, or sports stadium. Keep an eye out for announcements about which sportsbooks will show up in which areas!

    Maryland Sports Betting Partnerships

    At this time, there haven’t been very many formal announcements about sports betting partnerships in Maryland with a few exceptions.

    For example, just a day after Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan signed the legislation that made sports betting legal, the Baltimore Ravens formally announced that BetMGM would be their official gaming partner. As a result, BetMGM is now one of the most likely sportsbooks to acquire early licensure. BetMGM users will probably enjoy a ton of resulting promotions, especially when the Baltimore Ravens have an upcoming game.

    The Ravens also have partnerships with DraftKings and Caesars, with branding appearing throughout M&T Bank Stadium and various team media. Caesars will open up a sportsbook at Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, which is near the stadium. DraftKings will undoubtedly open their sportsbook in at least one retail location and have a strong online presence.

    This doesn’t necessarily take up any of the commercial casino slots, however. Additionally, there are several racetracks and other gaming outlets that still need sports betting partners. So there are a lot of licenses that still need filling.

    More sports betting partnerships will likely be announced in the near future.

    Maryland Sports Betting FAQs

    How Popular Is Sports Betting In Maryland?

    It’s tough to say at the moment. But the ballot referendum that allowed sports betting legislation to be voted on by senators and representatives in the first place was overwhelmingly approved by Maryland residents. So, it’s safe to say that this activity will be quite popular once it finally launches.

    Do All Sportsbooks Offer The Exact Same Sports Markets?

    No. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to research sportsbook choices before downloading a new app or visiting a retail book.

    Which Sportsbook Will Have The Best Odds In Maryland?

    All the major sportsbooks should have fairly similar odds. But larger operators like BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings will likely have the best consistent odds overall.

    Will Maryland Sportsbooks Offer In-Play Betting?

    Yes, provided they already offer live bets in other states.

    Where Will You Be Able To Bet On Sports In Maryland?

    You’ll be able to bet on sports at either retail sportsbook locations found at casinos, off-track betting parlors, and similar outlets or using a mobile app.

     Is It Legal To Bet On Sports In Maryland Right Now?

    Technically, yes. But no sportsbooks have launched, so betting on sports using an illegal book could still get you in trouble.

    About the Author

    Amber Hoffman

    Amber Hoffman is Managing Editor of MarylandSharp.com. A recovering attorney, she's spent almost a decade developing and managing websites and writing for a variety of industries. Amber became a Cubs fan after living a handful of blocks from Wrigley Field, much to the chagrin of her Mets-loving family and Red Sox-loving husband. Amber writes for a number of online sites including the food and lifestyle site Food And Drink Destinations.