With Maryland celebrating the launch of online sports betting, Old Line State bettors have no lack of options when it comes to sports available to bet on.
The catalog used by Maryland retail sportsbooks, was last updated on Feb. 15, when one new betting option was added for boxing.
Approved sports available for Maryland online betting
The launch of Maryland online sports betting took place Wednesday, Nov. 23. Ten sportsbook apps received approval during the latest Nov. 16 regulatory meeting, but only seven left the starting line on Wednesday.
So, exactly which sports will be available to bet on now that online sports betting has debuted?
Of course, there are the basics. Betting on the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL are all guaranteed options, but the list goes well beyond just that.
When it comes to basketball, a number of leagues are approved for wagering. Along with the NBA, there’s the WNBA, college basketball, international circuits, plus Olympics basketball in 2024. Those are in addition to seemingly every other basketball game in existence.
For example, there is the Adriatic Basketball Association, Albanian Basketball Association, Algerian Basketball Federation and Argentine Basketball Confederation. That is only half of the leagues that begin with the letter “A.”
The same can be said for baseball, football and hockey.
For baseball, which is a bigger global sport than some would expect, there are 11 different leagues and tournaments approved to bet on. From Korea and Mexico to Australia and the World Baseball Classic, baseball encompasses far more than MLB betting alone.
While betting on the NFL continues to be the most popular option for bettors, there are three other professional football leagues in North America as well: Canadian Football League, Arena Football League and the United States Football League.
Although NHL betting is popular here in North America, hockey is played all over the globe and has been for generations.
A total of 48 hockey leagues and tournaments exist to bet on, spanning from Canada to the Czech Republic to Kazakstan.
Of course, there’s also the game of soccer, which is arguably the most global game on Earth. There is no corner of the globe that soccer has not touched at this point. From MLS betting to Premier League betting and everything in between, an unfathomable amount of leagues and tournaments exist to bet on.
Cricket also follows a similar pattern and trajectory as soccer, even if it lacks the same level of popularity.
Countless betting options for less traditional sports
The above list covers only the basics of what will be available to bettors, according to the Maryland Catalog of Approved Events and Wagers. This does not include the plethora of motorsports that continue to grow in popularity.
Plus, additional niche sports have also developed a large following and international sprawl. Some include mixed martial arts, which has six different leagues and events, and boxing, despite its decline in the past two decades. Beyond these, esports betting will be available as well.
The list of fringe sports available to bet on also includes:
- Gaelic games
- Field hockey
Betting on fringe sports can be risky
Despite the intrigue and curiosity fringe sports can illicit, betting on lesser-known, potentially less-regulated sports can be dangerous.
The American Cornhole League, for instance, has recently implemented stricter protocols. A world championship event found both teams attempting to steal an edge by using bags too skinny for regulation use.
Meanwhile, the absurdity of the most recent cheater in chess is a debacle beyond logic. Grandmaster Hans Niemann is accused of cheating over 100 times in his career using vibrating beads as a means of gaining an advantage.
In fishing, there was a tournament recently where two fishermen decided to stuff their fish full of lead weights as well as – and I am not kidding about this – frozen fish fillets. They did so to make the weight of their catches heavier in order to win the tournament.
In poker, there was a woman who used an unorthodox strategy to win a whopping $260,000 on a single hand. While some believe she cheated, she passed a polygraph test, leading others to suggest misogyny might have been a motivating factor for the accusation.
Even Irish dancing has had its fair share of corruption. In Ireland, at least 18 dance teachers worked together to fix numerous competitions over the better part of two decades to line their own pockets with more cash.
Some sports are banned from betting
Maryland sports bettors will have a plethora of options for wagering, though it’s also important to note the few instances where betting is banned. Wagers are not allowed on Russian leagues, as the country continues to wage war on Ukraine. The same goes for sports in Belarus, Russia’s ally.
Additionally, players cannot bet on high school games anywhere in the world.