Maryland Online Gambling News

Maryland may be one of the oldest states in the union, but when it comes to gambling, it is one of the new kids on the block. The state’s first casino, Hollywood Casino Perryville, opened its doors in 2010. Now the state has six different casinos, including Maryland Live! Casino and MGM National Harbor.

Thanks to the residents of Maryland, sports betting will soon be coming to these properties as well. In November 2020, voters approved a referendum on sports betting by a 2-1 margin. In April 2021, the legislature passed a framework for sports betting that is truly one of a kind. On May 18, 2021, Gov. Larry Hogan signed the bill, immediately making online and retail sportsbooks legal.

Maryland’s setup features a series of Class A licenses for retail and online sportsbooks that the state’s casinos, pro teams and horse racing facilities can claim. The state fairgrounds, off-track betting sites, bingo halls, and even bars and restaurants have access to similar Class B licenses.

Where things really get interesting though is that Maryland has 60 online betting app licenses up for grabs that are going to be open to a wide range of businesses. The hope is this open market will bring more minority-owned businesses into the world of sports betting.

From the regulations to the sportsbook partnerships to the launch of online betting, PlayMaryland will be here covering every step of the action. Keep checking back for the latest sports betting launch dates as well as news from all facets of gambling in the state.

Sports betting updates

Last updated July 15, 2021

Sports betting in Maryland took another step forward on July 15. That’s when the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission approved a set of draft regulations to regulate sports wagering. Next, they’ll be the focus of a public comment period, though a specific start date hasn’t been determined.

Elsewhere, the partnerships in Maryland for online sports betting are also underway. BetMGM and the Baltimore Ravens are the first to formally announce their partnership. The deal is just a sponsorship one, though, and the Ravens take on BetMGM as an official gaming partner. Keep in mind the team also works with Horseshoe Baltimore. Presumably, BetMGM will seek a license through MGM National Harbor, but this is great exposure for the brand at M&T Bank Stadium.

Maryland Gambling

Sports Betting

Maryland voters made it clear they wanted sports betting in 2020. Now, it is about to come to fruition. The Maryland legislature passed one of the most open sports betting bills in America in April 2021. All told, there are 110 licenses up for grabs. Maryland casinos, sports venues and horse tracks will have access to a license to offer retail and online sportsbooks. The law also aims to get minority-owned businesses into the industry as well. Expect the first retail sportsbooks to launch in the fall, with betting apps getting going by the end of 2021.

Casinos

A 2008 voter referendum allowed the state to issue video lottery terminal licenses to five venues. Another referendum in 2012 expanded those licenses to include table games. The state’s first casino, Hollywood Perryville, opened in 2010. There are now six casinos across the state. Most properties offer slots, table games, and even a poker room. Ocean Downs in Berlin is the state’s sole racino and still features live horse racing.

MD Lottery

The Maryland Lottery has been around almost fifty years. The state-run organization offers Powerball, Mega Millions, Cash 4 Life, and a series of local draw games. There are also a wide range of scratch-off games available at one of the thousands of lottery retailers throughout the state. Keno is part of the MD Lottery offerings as well. The Maryland Lottery also serves as the regulator overseeing both video lottery terminals (VLTs) and casinos and will play a role in governing sports betting as well.

Horse racing

There are several noteworthy racetracks throughout Maryland, none more so than Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness StakesLaurel Park, Ocean Downs, and the Maryland Jockey club are just a few of the other horse racing tracks in the state. There are also advance-deposit wagering (ADW) apps like TVG that allow for betting on horses from your phone and six off-track betting parlors, some of which are located at Maryland casinos.

Poker

Before Maryland casinos opened, poker players needed to travel up north to Atlantic City or Pennsylvania if they wanted to get in a legal game. Now though, Maryland is a hotbed of poker activity. In addition to a very active cash game scene, Maryland casinos host a ton of high-profil tournaments from the WSOP and WPT. Maryland poker fans looking to get in an online game do not have a regulated real-money option, but they can play on the sweepstakes poker site Global Poker.

Sweepstakes Casinos

While online real-money casinos are not legal in Maryland, there are ways for Maryland residents to play casino games online. Sweepstakes casinos like Chumba Casino, FunzPoints, and LuckyLand are legal options where users buy a sweeps currency to play games with and potentially win real-money cash and prizes. These casinos offer tons of slot machine titles as well as a small range of table games like roulette and blackjack.

Frequently asked questions

Can I bet anywhere now that sports betting is legal in Maryland?

No. The law expanding gambling in Maryland to include sports betting only allows sports betting with a legal, regulated sportsbook. Your neighborhood bookie or offshore sites like MyBookie and Bovada are still illegal. Once sports betting apps launch in Maryland, you’ll want to look for the official seal of the state Lottery and Gaming board before betting with that site.

Will there be sportsbooks at M&T Bank Stadium and Camden Yards?

These venues are eligible for a license for a retail sportsbook and online betting apps. Given how much the leagues are lobbying for sportsbooks in several states, it would be a surprise if they didn’t pursue those licenses.

That means that, yes, the venues themselves will have a sportsbook. But really, most bettors will be betting on the Ravens and Orioles from their seats. With online betting, there is no line, no physical ticket to keep track of, and you don’t even have to get out of your seat and miss any of the action.

I have a VA betting app. Will it work in Maryland?

It depends. Some apps, like FanDuel and DraftKings, work seamlessly across states in which they operate. So, if you have already set up an account in Virginia, you should be good to go in Maryland. However, other apps, like BetRivers, require a different app for each state. Customers who want to bet in both states will need separate accounts and apps.

Can I bet on college teams from Maryland?

The framework passed by Maryland did not stipulate that any sports were off-limits. Unlike neighboring Virginia, which prohibits betting on college teams from the state, the University of Maryland and other school athletic programs will be on the board at MD sportsbooks. Plus, Virginians looking for easy access to bet on UVA and other teams will be just a short drive away.

There is a chance the finalized regulations might have some restrictions on what kinds of college sports bets are offered. For example, there might be limits on prop bets on individual college athletes.

Are online casinos and online poker sites legal in Maryland?

No. Maryland legalized sports betting via a voter referendum in 2020, but it did not include other forms of online gambling expansion. Pennsylvania remains the closest state to Maryland with legal online casinos.

Gamblers in Maryland can take advantage of sweepstake sites like Global Poker and Chumba Casino if they want to access online casino games legally from their homes or phones.