Maryland voters made it clear in 2020 that they wanted sports betting. Now, it has started 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. The first retail sportsbooks began opening 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. But that should soon change.
In November 2020, voters approved a referendum on legal sports betting by a 2-1 margin. However, though in-person retail sports betting formally launched at the state’s casinos in December 2021, bettors will likely have to wait until the second half of 2022 to place bets at online sportsbooks in Maryland.
But once mobile sports betting launches, Maryland should have one of the most robust markets in the US, with up to 60 online sportsbook licenses.
Currently, Maryland also has no immediate plans for online casino or online poker. So, for now, for those traditional casino games, bettors will need to head to one of six brick-and-mortar casinos located throughout Maryland.
From the regulations to the sportsbook partnerships to the 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 May 25, 2022
Hollywood Casino Perryville will officially unveil its Barstool-branded sportsbook on June 6. Its current sportsbook, under the casino’s own branding for the last five months, will be fully operational through June 5.
In April, Hollywood Casino Perryville saw over $1.2 million in total handle, holding on to just 5.9% of that. Since the retail sports betting launch in December, the casino has seen over $7 million in total handle, with a hold percentage of 9.9%.
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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 also serves as the regulator overseeing both video lottery terminals (VLTs) and casinos, and it now has a role in governing sports betting as well.
There are several noteworthy racetracks throughout Maryland, 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 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-profile 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.
While online real-money casinos are not legal in Maryland, there are ways for Maryland residents to play casino games online. Social and sweepstakes casinos like Pulsz, Chumba Casino, FunzPoints and LuckyLand are legal options in which users use virtual currencies to play games and in some cases can redeem winnings for cash 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
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.