Within the fall or winter of 2021, sports fans could be placing bets at one of many Maryland sportsbooks in the state. Dozens of retail sportsbook locations could be live in Maryland by the time the industry reaches full maturity.
Finally, Maryland has fully legalized sports wagering throughout the state. As of June 2021, both retail and mobile sports betting are now officially legal. However, sports bettors in Maryland won’t be able to place a bet until incoming operators receive their licenses. Before operators receive licenses, they’ll have to find appropriate partners at casinos, sports arenas, or professional sports team franchises.
With the industry coming up soon, you should know about the sports betting venues in the state and where to find them. Here we’ll break down everything there is to know about Maryland’s retail sports betting scene as it stands today.
Live Sportsbooks In Maryland
At the moment, there aren’t any live sportsbooks you can visit in Maryland, neither physical nor online. Although Maryland’s citizens voted to legalize sports wagering in 2020 and lawmakers passed legislation in 2021, the sports betting industry in Maryland still needs regulations.
In other words, there are some specifics with Maryland’s sports betting industry that need to be hashed out. We don’t know which sportsbooks will receive licensure, and we don’t know all the details that will affect this future industry.
Legal Sports Betting In Maryland
According to Maryland’s recently passed sports betting legislation, the future industry will allow for over 100 licenses in total, including up to 60 online sportsbook app licenses. It’s unlikely that we’ll ever see this many active sportsbooks in the state, as there isn’t a large enough market for that much competition.
Still, this is great for fans of particular sportsbooks who may be hoping that their chosen platform or retail sportsbook outlet may come to Maryland eventually.
Technically, HB 940 – the amended bill legalizing sports betting in Maryland – allowed for a launch date of June 1, 2021. That being said, this was just when sports betting became fully legal, not when the industry actually launched.
Operators still have to apply for licensure and get approval, as well as make preparations on the technical side of things before they open their proverbial doors. The same holds true for retail sportsbooks, which need to build their locations before they can start accepting wagers.
Maryland’s sportsbooks will be awarded one of two licenses depending on their class. Class A licenses will be reserved for the six commercial casinos in Maryland along with several sports arenas including:
- Oriole Park at Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles
- M&T Bank Stadium, which is also the home of the Baltimore Ravens
- FedEx Field, the home of the Washington Football Team
- Maryland Jockey Club, which owns two big racetracks in Maryland
Furthermore, Maryland legislation has reserved three licenses for major sports leagues and franchises pending their relocation to Maryland. Teams that might take up this offer include DC United or the Washington Capitals, as these teams play their games near Maryland but within the District of Columbia. The hope is to draw sports franchises to Maryland to benefit from increased ticket and tax revenue.
Class B licenses will be reserved for any nonsports-related companies that want to offer sports betting. For example, commercial bingo parlors and standalone off-track betting parlors could potentially partner with one or more sportsbook operators.
All told, Maryland’s future sports betting industry will likely begin with a bang simply because the state government is attempting to maximize flexibility for operators and betting companies. To this end, Maryland will allow books to offer college betting lines for any sporting events; there won’t be any bans on in-state college teams or games, for example.
You’ll also be able to bet on events like the Olympics, the Oscars, and more. Note that these current provisions could be adjusted if the Senate version of the sports betting bill is amended at any point. But for now, the future of sports betting in Maryland looks bright indeed.
Online Sports Betting Partnerships In Maryland
At the time of this writing, there aren’t many announced sports betting partnerships in Maryland. However, there are several sportsbook operators or operator parent companies that already have a presence in Maryland because of casinos or other offerings.
A partnership was announced between DraftKings and the Baltimore Ravens on August 18, 2021. Branding will be at the stadium and official Ravens media, such as a weekly podcast called “The Lounge” and the Gameday Insider show before contests. It’s expected that the sportsbook will be linked to a retail location in the future. They already have their daily fantasy platform available in Maryland.
FanDuel has partnered with Maryland Live! Casino & Hotel to open a retail sportsbook inside the casino. The partnership will also allow FanDuel to operate its app in the state.
MGM National Harbor partnered with BetMGM to open a sportsbook inside its casino. In addition to the retail sportsbook, BetMGM’s app will also be available for sports bettors in Maryland.
Caesars will open a retail sportsbook inside Horseshoe Casino Baltimore thanks to a partnership, which also includes the use of Caesars app for sports betting. The new Caesars app is powered by its Liberty technology and is linked to the Caesars Rewards program. Every bet placed on the app will get your points towards your Rewards. For a limited time, Caesars is offering a risk-free bet up to $5,000 for new users.
Riverboat on the Potomac is an off-track betting spot in Colonial Beach that will open a PointsBet retail sportsbook. PointsBet also offers sports betting through its app.
Barstool Sportsbook app will be available for sports betting as well as a retail sportsbook inside Hollywood Casino Perryville after inking a partnership with the casino.
Ocean Downs Casino partnered with TwinSpires Sportsbook to open a retail sportsbook inside the casino. The partnership also allows the use of TwinSpires Sportsbook app in Maryland.
More sportsbooks like BetRivers are expected to partner with other casinos and sports franchises in the near future.
Types Of Bets Taken At Sportsbooks In Maryland
Since Maryland is set to minimize any possible restrictions on sports bets, you’ll likely be able to place all manner of sports wagers on your chosen app or at any retail sports betting location.
Moneyline wagers are common offerings at sportsbooks, and for good reason. These basic wagers just have you bet on which team will win a particular match. They are offered at almost all sportsbooks due to their simplicity.
Futures bets are also popular wagers, particularly among big sportsbooks. With futures bets, you place a wager on an upcoming event or tournament outcomes, such as who will be the Super Bowl champion in the NFL which baseball team will win the World Series in the MLB.
Futures wagers have the potential for high payouts if you put money down earlier in the season as opposed to later in the season.
Many sportsbooks will also likely offer prop betting markets. Proposition bets are basic but flexible bets that involve wagering on single events within a game or season, such as a player winning MVP, a football player making a touchdown, and so on.
Prop bets are particularly popular with new sports bettors since they are easy to grasp and can focus on a wide range of activities or event outcomes.
Many top sportsbooks will probably offer parlay bets. With parlay bets, you string together lots of single successive bets and have to get each wager correct in the collective parlay bet to get your payout.
Parlay bets have a high potential for profit but are usually only placed by experienced sports bettors due to their higher inherent risk.
Spread bets are another common offering at most mobile sports betting platforms. With spread bets, you bet that either the favorite team will win the game by more than a certain number of points or that the underdog team will win the game at all or lose by less than a certain number of points. This is called “betting the spread”.
Over/under bets are popular for their simplicity. With these bets, the betting line has a set score for a given match and bettors put money down on whether they think both teams involved in a match will score more or less than the betting line points total.
Maryland Sports Betting Guide
Although an official launch date hasn’t yet been set, Maryland’s sports betting industry is right around the corner. Let’s break down what you need to know about betting in Maryland so you are ready when the mobile apps finally launch.
Is It Legal To Bet On Sports At Off-Shore Sportsbooks?
No, and it never will be. Sports betting is legal in Maryland provided that the wagers take place at or on licensed, regulated sportsbooks like official mobile apps.
If you decide to use an offshore or illegal betting site, you could still get in trouble with the law. You don’t want to do this anyway, because offshore and illegal betting apps have subpar digital security and can seriously compromise your personal information.
They don’t offer good betting lines or player-friendly odds and there’s nothing stopping them from taking any funds you provide to your account. It’s a much better bet to stick with licensed, regulated apps or to visit legal retail sportsbooks.
Maryland Sports Betting Timeline
The push for legal sports betting in Maryland really began in November 2020, when a provisional referendum was added to the November 2020 ballot. Voters were given the opportunity to vote on whether they wanted legal sports wagering in their state.
The voters were clear and lawmakers began drafting potential sports wagering bills. The Maryland General Assembly then had to pass legislation in order to regulate and authorize any new gambling industry. It took six months in total, but in April 2021 the House and Senate both provided bills to Gov. Larry Hogan. The governor signed the bills in May 2021 and made sports wagering fully official in Maryland.
Despite this success, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done to fully regulate the industry and hash out the details. For example, we don’t know what the tax rate for Maryland’s sports wagering industry will be. We do know, however, that there will be over a hundred potential licenses up for grabs when the industry finally launches.
At the moment, the soonest possible launch time is the fall of 2021. The state government may attempt to launch the industry before the start of the NFL season to capitalize on massive profits, but it remains to be seen whether they will meet this goal.
3 Best Online Sports Betting Apps In Maryland
While we don’t know for sure which sports betting apps will launch in Maryland, we can make some educated guesses. In our opinion, the best online sports betting apps likely to launch in Maryland include:
- BetMGM, which is a relatively new but still excellent mobile app. It features an intuitive user interface designed explicitly for mobile devices rather than desktop computers, an excellent opening bonus, and live betting to round out a host of other excellent features
- FanDuel, which is a well-reviewed and well-developed sportsbook operator that has one of the best mobile apps in the industry. This app has a phenomenal opening bonus worth up to $1000 (in the form of a risk-free bet), excellent betting markets, and more
- DraftKings, which is FanDuel’s primary competitor. This app also has an excellent opening bonus to draw in new players and some of the best betting market depth and variety in the industry. Live and in-play betting makes this one of the best sportsbooks for betting enthusiasts who want a major sportsbook platform to return to time and again. New members at DraftKings Sportsbook can now receive a $50 free bet for making a deposit of $5 or more. This exclusive deal is one of the most generous online sports betting welcome bonuses. If you like the layout of DraftKings Sportsbook, you can then receive the regular welcome bonus. The 20% deposit match up to $1,000 is the biggest deposit promotion at the US online casino. Terms and conditions apply.
Maryland Sportsbooks FAQs
Technically, yes. The activity itself is no longer illegal. However, there aren’t any legal sportsbooks on which to place wagers, so you can’t actually bet on sports in reality quite yet.
Once sportsbooks launch in Maryland, you’ll be able to place wagers using online apps from anywhere within state lines or at retail sportsbooks locations, which will be found at race tracks or retail casinos scattered throughout the state.
Not yet. But it’s likely that the six commercial casinos in Maryland will pursue partnerships with a sportsbook operator to benefit from additional revenue.
Yes. Horse race betting is actually already allowed in Maryland at various race tracks or off-track betting parlors.
Once sportsbooks are up and running, you’ll need to be 21 years of age or older to participate.
Most of them will, but not all. Most popular sportsbooks throughout the country already offer live betting.
Yes, but we aren’t sure what the tax rate will be.
Not yet. But FanDuel already offers daily fantasy sports and is among the operators most likely to get a license soon after the industry launches.