Maryland voters made it clear in 2020 that they wanted sports betting. Now, their wish is beginning to come to fruition. The Maryland legislature passed one of the most full-bodied 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 each have access to a license in order to offer both retail and online sports betting. The law also aims to introduced minority-owned businesses into the industry as well. The first retail sportsbooks opened at MD casinos in December 2021. However, online sports betting likely won’t be available in Maryland until the second half of 2022.
Maryland Online Gambling News
Although Maryland has ushered in a new era of legal gambling, bettors in the Old Line State still have limited online options. That should all change soon though.
In November 2020, voters approved a referendum on legal sports betting by a 2-1 margin. In-person retail sports betting formally launched at the state’s casinos in December 2021. But bettors will likely have to wait until the second half of 2022 to place bets at online sportsbooks in Maryland.
Once mobile sports betting launches, Maryland should have one of the most robust markets in the US, featuring up to 60 online sportsbook licenses.
Currently, Maryland also has no immediate plans for online casino or online poker. So for now, bettors will need to head to one of Maryland’s six brick-and-mortar casinos for their traditional casino game fix.
From regulations to sportsbook partnerships to the official launch of online sports betting in Maryland, 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.
Last updated Aug. 8, 2022
Maryland casinos set a new revenue record with $181.5 million wagered in July. Numbers are up 0.8% from July 2021’s $180.1 million, the state’s previous highest one-month total, starting the Fiscal Year 2023 up that same amount YoY.
Maryland Casinos Set Single-Month Record Revenue In July
Last month’s numbers are up 0.8% from July 2021’s $180.1 million, previously Maryland’s highest one-month total.
Bingo World, BetRivers Celebrate Sportsbook Opening
The new BetRivers-branded sportsbook at the Baltimore bingo hall is the first outside of a casino in the Old Line State.
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.
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 serves as the regulator overseeing both video lottery terminals (VLTs) and casinos, and it now has a role in governing sports betting.
There are several noteworthy racetracks throughout Maryland, but none more so than Pimlico Race Course — home of the Preakness Stakes. Laurel 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 such as TVG that allow for betting on horses from your phone, as well as six off-track betting parlors — some of which are located at Maryland casinos.
Before Maryland casinos opened, poker players had to travel up north to Atlantic City or Pennsylvania to take part in a legal game. These days, Maryland is a hotbed of poker activity. In addition to a very active cash game scene, Maryland casinos host numerous high-profile WSOP and WPT tournaments throughout the year. Maryland poker fans looking to participate in an online game unfortunately don’t have a regulated real-money option. However, they can legally play on the sweepstakes poker site Global Poker.
Although online real-money casinos are not legal in Maryland, there are still ways for Maryland residents to play casino games online. Social and sweepstakes casinos like Pulsz, Chumba Casino, FunzPoints and LuckyLand are legal options where players use virtual currencies to play games and in some cases can redeem winnings for cash prizes. These casinos offer countless slot machine titles as well as a small range of table games like roulette and blackjack.
Frequently asked questions
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.