Maryland Sports Betting

News and Launch Updates on MD Sportsbooks

Maryland sports betting finally arrived when the Old Line State formally ushered in retail sports betting at five of six MD casinos beginning in December 2021. Additional retail sportsbooks at OTBs, sports bars, horse racing tracks, pro-sports venues and other businesses are also expected to soon launch.

However, the market should really take shape when statewide mobile sports betting is available later this year. Regulators hope online sportsbooks in Maryland can launch and begin taking wagers by the start of the 2022-23 NFL season in the fall.

Latest updates on mobile sports betting in Maryland

Last updated: May 19, 2022

The launch of mobile sports betting in the Old Line State may not happen in 2022 after all. According to a report from Legal Sports Report, a launch by the 2023 Super Bowl is “likely a stretch.”

It’s been just over a year since Governor Larry Hogan legalized sports betting in Maryland by signing it into law. The hope was to be live online by Week 1 of the upcoming NFL season, but that target date is becoming more and more unlikely with each passing week.

When will Maryland mobile sports betting launch?

The best-case scenario would be by the beginning of the 2022-2023 NFL season. As is often the case with states launching mobile sports betting, Maryland has been aiming to debut sports betting apps in the state prior to Week 1. As football season is the most feverish time of the year for sports betting, this tactic is a common way to allow new sports betting markets to storm out of the gates at a gallop. However, lawmakers and regulators are unable to commit to an official date at this time as they undertake a disparity study before awarding online sports betting licenses. Still, it’s expected to officially launch before 2022 wraps up.

How MD sports betting got here

In-person retail sports betting is alive and well in Maryland, with five of the state’s six casinos opening sportsbooks starting in December 2021. Here are the milestones that lawmakers and regulators have passed that got the Old Line State to this point.

  • Voters approve sports betting referendum: November 2020
  • Pass bill to legalize sports betting: April 2021
  • Bill signed by Gov. Larry Hogan: May 2021
  • Debut and discuss sports betting regulations: July 2021
  • Open application process September 2021
  • Review applications October-November 2021
  • Regulatory approval of selected applications November 2021
  • Launch December 2021

Which sportsbook apps will launch in Maryland?

Nearly all of them. Many of the major sports betting sites already have an in-person sportsbook present in Maryland at various casinos, and there’s room for more thanks to the state’s sports betting law allowing the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency to authorize up to 60 licenses. Below is the current outlook on the big brands that made their debut in late 2021.

SportsbookLand-Based PartnerOwner/OperatorETA Online Launch Retail Launch
Barstool SportsbookHollywood Casino PerryvillePenn National GamingTBADecember 2021
Caesars SportsHorseshoe Casino BaltimoreCaesars EntertainmentTBADecember 2021
FanDuel SportsbookLive! Casino & Hotel MarylandCordish CompanyTBADecember 2021
BetMGM SportsbookMGM National HarborMGM Resorts InternationalTBADecember 2021
TwinSpires SportsbookOcean Downs CasinoChurchill Downs, Inc.NoneDecember 2021
PointsBet SportsbookRiverboat on the PotomacPenny FlanaganTBAETA Q2 2022

Barstool Sportsbook

Maryland launch chance: CERTAIN 

Barstool Sportsbook is definitely going to launch at some point. Thanks to Penn National Gaming’s purchase of the former sports blog, Barstool is now the brand name for the sports betting wing of one of the largest casino companies not named MGM or Caesars. Penn National’s many holdings include Hollywood Casino in Perryville, and there’s no doubt that Barstool Sports logos will soon adorn the property, either as advertisements for the mobile app or the branding for the onsite sportsbook.


Maryland launch chance: CERTAIN

BetMGM Maryland Sportsbook is a certainty. Unsurprisingly, BetMGM is the sportsbook brand for MGM Resorts International, one of the world’s largest casino companies. Even if BetMGM did not own a property in Maryland, the sportsbook has had a propensity for early entrances into new sports betting states and would be an odds-on favorite to be one of the first books to launch in the state. Of course, MGM already calls Maryland home through its ownership of MGM National Harbor, just outside of Washington, D.C. In addition, BetMGM is the official gaming partner for the Baltimore Ravens. So, there’s no question that BetMGM will launch an online sportsbook in Maryland.

Caesars Sports

Maryland launch chance: CERTAIN

Caesars Maryland Sportsbook is a lock to debut in one form or another. There’s simply no way that Caesars Entertainment is going to stand on the sidelines. For one thing, Caesars owns and operates Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. For another, Caesars is one of the largest casino companies in the world and has the wherewithal to launch in any state it chooses. CET is also the new owner of William Hill, a huge sport betting name in its own right, and thus has operations in every border state with Maryland except Delaware. The William Hill brand name is set to be phased out, so you’ll see the Caesars Sports brand in many places soon. Maryland is certainly on that list.


Maryland launch chance: CERTAIN

DraftKings is almost always on the shortlist of online sportsbooks first to launch in new markets and is never shy about expansion. In fact, DK is active in every sport betting state in the country aside from Nevada. Even more importantly, DraftKings contributed several hundreds of thousands of dollars to advance an advertising campaign in favor of the Maryland sports betting referendum in November 2020. If the company is willing to come that far out of pocket to push the agenda for Maryland voters, there’s no doubt that a DraftKings Sportsbook in Maryland is part of the plan.


Maryland launch chance: CERTAIN

Like archrival DraftKings, FanDuel has been one of the most diligent and aggressively expanding sportsbooks in the last few years. The company has been part of the initial debut or early stages of sports betting launches in several states and has been one of the top sportsbook brands in numerous locations around the country. FanDuel also donated large sums of money to the Maryland ad initiative that sought to push Maryland voters toward approving the sports betting referendum in November 2020. So, it’s quite clear that a FanDuel Sportsbook in Maryland is part of the plans.


Maryland launch chance: CERTAIN

PointsBet is an Australian sportsbook that has made waves in recent years for its unusual signature product and its cannonball splash into the US. Now, thanks to one of the quirkiest in-state partnerships ever, the PointsBet Maryland app is sure to launch at some point. The deal is with the Riverboat on the Potomac, an off-track betting location in Colonial Beach, Virginia, which you may notice is not in Maryland. However, because the riverboat is actually on the Potomac River and the river is considered part of Maryland, the Riverboat on the Potomac is one of four off-track betting locations eligible for licensing in the Old Line State.


Maryland launch chance: CERTAIN

TwinSpires Sportsbook is not a big name in the sports betting world, despite its golden pedigree. The sportsbook brand of Churchill Downs, the world-famous racetrack in Kentucky, is still a newcomer to outright sports betting and is scraping to grab market share from the big boys. However, the book has a leg up in Maryland because of Churchill’s ownership of Berlin Downs, the state’s only racino. Since we cannot imagine Churchill Downs missing out on such a natural expansion point, TwinSpires is a shoo-in to become a Maryland sportsbook.


Maryland launch chance: CERTAIN

After initial uncertainty, BetRivers Sportsbook will be the latest major sportsbook to join the others in Maryland. The Rush Street Interactive brand plans to extend its major presence in the American northeast into the Old Line State via Bingo World, which was approved by the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission on March 16 and became the ninth operator to receive a Maryland sports betting license.


Maryland launch chance: POSSIBLE

WynnBet certainly has the pedigree and resources to pursue a sports betting license in Maryland. The sportsbook is the sports betting arm of the Wynn and Encore casino chain. Thus, it has plenty of brand recognition to use as a lever into new markets. However, the relatively new WynnBet sportsbook app and is still early in its development of market share in other states. So, Maryland might not be the top spot on its priority list. With 60 spots available, WynnBet officials could also be thinking that there’s no particular rush.

Bally Bet

Maryland launch chance: POSSIBLE

Bally Bet is one of the newest sportsbooks on the market and is still getting its feet underneath it. Although most people associate Bally’s name with the Caesars-owned property in Las Vegas, the truth is that Bally’s is a conglomerate organization with multiple casino properties (among other things) operating under a variety of legacy brand names. Bally’s Atlantic City, Hard Rock Biloxi, and Tropicana Evansville are all Bally’s locations, but the Bally’s in Las Vegas is not. At any rate, Bally’s is looking to make some moves in the US right away, so a Maryland launch might make sense. However, the company does not have any Maryland assets, so we’ll have to wait and see if anything meaningful changes or the company submits an application.

How to sign up at a Maryland sports betting app

While there is still nothing official about how sports betting in Maryland will actually work, it’s safe to assume that it will not reinvent the wheel. After all, it’s not good for a new industry to come with a steep learning curve. So, we can speak with a certain degree of confidence about the different procedures you will find for signing up and getting started when Maryland sports betting finally launches.

Before you do anything else, you’ll want to look through our list of links above for the top active sportsbooks in Maryland. Although the state’s sports betting market looks to be a crowded field, we can help you find the picks of the litter. Moreover, we have great sports betting bonus offers that you can use to supplement and augment your new accounts with each sportsbook. In many cases, you simply cannot find these offers elsewhere — we have many exclusive deals and relationships with various sportsbook companies that allow us to pass extra savings and perks along to you. Once you see an offer or book you like, make sure that you write down any associated bonus code, then click the link. Take care to write these codes down precisely, as both typos and capitalization errors could cost you the ability to redeem the offers.

Once you click the link, you should find yourself on a page with the two main device formats: Apple and Android. Choose the button appropriate for your device and press it. The button will whisk you to a familiar place — a download page for the app that is identical to the pages for other types of apps. Click the button to begin the installation process, and the sportsbook app will install itself onto your device automatically.

The next step after installing your chosen sportsbook is to register for a new account. Look for a large button at the top of your screen. It should say “Register,” “Sign up,” or something similar. It will be exceptionally obvious to find. Once you press the button, you’ll be asked to submit various pieces of personal information to create your account. Plan to enter the following details into the app:

  • Legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number or the last four digits
  • An account number or username
  • Residential address
  • Telephone number
  • Sportsbook bonus or promo code

Be prepared for the fact that you’ll have to prove your identity to the sportsbook at some point. You’ll either need to do it at registration or when you try to withdraw your winnings. So, you might have to present a driver’s license or passport.

Make sure to look out for a space to input your bonus codes, if any. Most registration screens have an optional box to enter into the system. Check over the code before you hit the “submit” button because these spaces are both case-sensitive and unforgiving about typographical errors.

After you create your account, you’ll end up in one of two places: the sportsbook’s lobby or its cashier. If you received any bonus money in your account, you can use it to place wagers. Otherwise, you’ll have to make a deposit through the cashier. It’s in sportsbooks’ best interests to make depositing as easy and inclusive as possible, so most apps have several different ways to put money into your account. Here are some common deposit methods:

  • Credit or debit cards
  • E-checks
  • E-wallets, like PayPal, Skrill, or NETELLER
  • Online banking and wire transfers
  • Prepaid cards
  • PayNearMe
  • Cash at the casino cage
  • Paper checks or money orders

Not every method will be available at every Maryland sportsbook app. It’s a good idea to check out the cashier before you get comfortable on a particular app since it’s not a good idea to use a sportsbook if you cannot make a deposit or withdrawal there. Withdrawal methods are typically fewer in number than the deposit methods, so you might want to look at those, too.

How can I tell if a Maryland sportsbook app is the real deal?

If you look for sports betting sites in Maryland before launch, there’s an easy way to tell if the sites you can find are legitimate: They aren’t. It may be obvious, but many unlicensed sportsbooks are out there and seem to be reputable upon inspection. Don’t fall for the trap. There are many problems with playing on these sites, which we’ll discuss in a minute.

Once sports betting goes live in Maryland, however, it might be a bit more difficult to discern if a site is real or not. This problem is particularly true for Maryland, which is set to have as many as five dozen sites active in the state. Of course, most of the big names, like BetMGM, FanDuel, or DraftKings, will be easy enough to find. However, some of the smaller sportsbooks might be the real thing but not be known brands to you. Some of them might not even be known to us at first glance, and we write about gambling for a living.

Anyway, you will always be able to tell if a sportsbook is a regulated and legal site if you know what signs to observe. The very first thing to check is to see if there is a Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission logo somewhere on the main page. Check the image to the right if you need a reference for what the logo looks like.

Failing that, you can also look for the logo for the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. This organization serves as a central coordination point for several Maryland government agencies and casinos for problem gambling efforts. Although it’s possible you might see this advertisement on an unregulated site, it’s unlikely that the illegitimate sites would want to draw the attention of the state government.

A more definite way to check out a site’s credentials is through the lottery commission website itself. States must always publish revenue reports each month detailing how each sportsbook has performed because they have to be transparent about the taxes they are collecting. So, if you look through the latest revenue reports that will begin appearing on the Maryland Lottery and Gaming website a month or two after sports betting launches, you will find an updated list of every single sportsbook authorized to operate in Maryland. If the site you’ve found does not appear on the list, then it’s not a legit site.

Finally, you can check out the site’s contact information if you want to be sure. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with international trade, legitimate Maryland sportsbooks will maintain their headquarters inside Maryland. Other sportsbooks will not, and will usually have their mailing addresses in places like Antigua, Aruba, or other locations in the Caribbean or Central America. Although it’s not a completely foolproof method, you should be quite wary about sites that list their details outside the US.

There will be plenty of sites in Maryland to choose from if you want to bet on the Ravens odds or bet on a Washington Football Team game. Don’t jump the gun and open yourself up to a giant headache just because you can’t wait to bet the over/under.

Where will I be able to bet on sports in Maryland?

Pretty much everywhere in Maryland, and not just online. With so many MD sportsbook licenses up for grabs, there will likely be a sportsbook nearby, no matter where you are in the Old Line State. First and foremost, however, is that the mobile apps will allow you to bet on sports anywhere inside the state lines of Maryland. As long as you are physically located inside the state and (likely) over the age of 21, you’ll be good to go.

With that said, be prepared for the fact that you will have to prove that you are inside Maryland before you can bet. Simply stating that you’re in Maryland won’t work. Each sportsbook app uses geolocation verification software to pinpoint every player’s location inside the state (or not), and you will be denied service if the software cannot verify your physical location in the proper region. Lest you think that you might fool the system, be aware that geolocation verification software is actually quite accurate these days and can usually place you within a few feet of your actual location. The software uses your own phone or tablet’s GPS to its advantage, so it’s best not to think that you’re going to pull a fast one from somewhere outside state lines.

As far as retail facilities go, there are some locations that already have sports betting licenses set aside for their use. For those venues, live sports betting’s debut is simply a matter of time and logistics. However, we cannot be completely sure when these places will go live, so simply bear in mind that sportsbooks at these locations will arrive on a staggered basis. It is even possible that some might decide not to open, but we won’t know that for some time. Anyway, here are the automatic license holders in Maryland:

Please note that a license was set aside for G Boone’s Restaurant and Bar, one of Maryland’s off-track betting facilities. However, the facility appears to be closed permanently, and it’s unknown if any more licenses are set to be added to the mix.

In addition to these locations, the state has allocated 30 license slots to be available through a competitive bidding process. Almost any business entity in the state can submit an application, so there will be sportsbooks in bars, restaurants, smaller bingo halls, and other locations that are seemingly incongruent with gambling. However, with dozens of retail sportsbooks spread across a state with, frankly, not a ton of real estate, you’re probably going to be able to throw a stone and hit a Maryland sportsbook before too long – if you feel like going outside instead of betting in bed, anyway.

What will Maryland sports betting look like?

Maryland’s sports betting industry will be one of the largest and most diverse markets in the country once it gets up and running. HB940 establishes a framework for as many as five dozen online sportsbooks and almost as many retail sportsbooks in the Old Line State. The mobile licenses are available to any applicant deemed eligible by the gaming commission, but in practice, almost any business can apply. The law permits only one brand, or skin, per mobile licensee.

With regard to the retail sports betting licenses, here is a table that breaks down how each applicant will be classified:

LicenseLicense FeesEligible Licenseholders
Class A-1$2 million license fee
$500,000 renewal fee every five years
Casinos with 1,000 or more machines, horse racetracks and major professional sports facilities
Class A-2$1 million license fee
$300,000 renewal fee every five years
Casinos with less than 1,000 machines
Class B-1$250,000 license fee
$50,000 renewal fee every five years
Those who fit this license but are not small enough businesses for B-2
Class B-2$50,000 license fee
$10,000 renewal fee every five years
Entities with fewer than 25 employees and $3 million in gross receipts
Mobile$500,000 license fee
$100,000 renewal fee every five years

So, based upon those criteria, here are the guaranteed licenses that are set aside for existing businesses in Maryland.

Class A-1

  • Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
  • Live! Casino & Hotel
  • MGM National Harbor
  • Laurel Park
  • Maryland Jockey Club
  • Pimlico Race Course
  • FedEx Field
  • M&T Bank Stadium
  • Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Class A-2

  • Hollywood Casino Perryville
  • Ocean Downs Casino
  • Rocky Gap Casino Resort

Class B-1

  • Maryland State Fairgrounds
  • Greenmount Station
  • Long Shot’s
  • Riverboat on the Potomac
  • Bingo World
  • Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort

Class B-2

This license class is for the yet-unnamed 30 licenses set aside for small businesses with less than $3 million in annual revenue and fewer than 25 employees. So, through these licenses, bars, restaurants, and other small retail venues will be able to host their own sportsbooks, albeit small ones. These licenses will be subject to a competitive bidding process.

What’s the difference between Class A and Class B?

Aside from the different fees for each stratum of a license, Class A and Class B licenses are mostly the same. Both pay the same rate in taxes (15%), and both authorize their holders to open both retail and online sports betting operations.

However, there is one clear difference that renders Class A licenses superior to the B licenses: location priority. Class A licenses are already set aside for existing venues, and Class B licensees must not intrude on Class A zones or be near one another. A Class B facility must not be:

  • Within a 15-mile radius of Class A facility in Allegany, Cecil, or Worcester counties, OR
  • Within a 1½-mile radius of Class A facility in any other county or any other Class B facility

As more details emerge from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, we will update this section. However, based upon the enrolled version of the law, this structure is pretty close to how things will proceed.

Top MD sports betting FAQs

Is online sports betting legal in Maryland?

Yes. By virtue of Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature on HB940 in April 2021, both retail and online sports betting became legal in Maryland.

Great! Where can I bet?

Retail sports betting is available in-person at five of the state’s six casinos — Hollywood Casino Perryville, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland, MGM National Harbor and Ocean Downs Casino.

Mobile sports betting is still unavailable in Maryland.

Will I be able to bet on Maryland sports teams?

Yes. There is no restriction on betting almost any type of sports team that calls Maryland home. So, the Washington Football Team, Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, and any of Maryland’s college and university teams should be available for wagering in the Old Line State. The only prohibition is on high school sports. However, this restriction is universal in every single sports betting state, so it’s not like Marylanders are missing out on that great junior varsity volleyball action.

Who is allowed to bet on sports in Maryland?

Most people, but there are some exceptions. The law lists several groups of people, like players, coaches, referees, and other principals in sports as prohibited from betting, along with anyone associated with the ownership or operation of a sportsbook in the state. As a general rule, if you have any prior experience or relationship with someone in a position to influence the outcome of sports bets, state law does not allow you to bet.

What is the minimum age for sports betting in Maryland?

21. HB940 clearly states that individuals under the drinking age are not allowed to bet on sports.

Can I bet with an offshore sportsbook?

Can you? Yes. Should you? No. Offshore sportsbooks are not a good idea for Americans to use. They can be sloppily or unfairly run and have the potential to be outright criminal enterprises. Without the backing of the Maryland and US legal systems, you should not feel comfortable sending a single scrap of information or a dime of your money to a sportsbook site.

Is DFS legal in Maryland?

Yes. In fact, if you were holding the world’s most specific trivia game, Maryland would be the answer to a question about which state was the first to make daily fantasy sports legal, doing so in 2012. However, it’s a bit of a trick question, because the first state to have legal DFS sites doing business is Virginia. Because the law that gave the state comptroller the authority to offer regulations and administer DFS presented a legal question (whether a constitutional amendment was necessary), it took four years for the Maryland attorney general to sign off on the law as proper. It took the comptroller another year to promulgate the rules after that, so legal DFS did not become active in Maryland until 2017, five full years after the initial law. All’s well that ends well, though, and Marylanders can play DFS as much as they like now.

How legal Maryland sports betting came to be

Before 2018, there was no movement toward legal sports betting in Maryland. After all, with the federal ban on sports betting in place, any law to make wagering on sports legal inside a state would be a merely symbolic gesture. With the US Supreme Court’s dismissal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, new frontiers in gambling sprang open for all 50 states, including Maryland.

However, like many states, Maryland had followed the oral arguments for the case that took place in December 2017 and had concluded that a judicial negation of the bill seemed likely. So, House lawmakers in the Old Line State tried to get ahead of the curve by introducing a sports betting bill in February 2018. After about a month of discussion, HB1014 passed the lower chamber on its third reading by a whopping 124-14 margin. Then, the bill moved to the Senate, got referred to committee, and was never heard from again. Any momentum that the bill took out of the House hit a brick wall in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.

Representatives in the House remained undaunted by the loss. They circled back around to introduce a new bill, HB1132, in 2019. Unfortunately, this bill had numerous logistical hurdles to overcome. A 2007 Maryland law had made any commercial gambling expansion subject to voter approval. The lawmakers, wishing to make an end-run around this requirement, decided to place the law under the codicils of the state lottery. However, in doing so, the bill suddenly did not permit any of Maryland’s six casinos to participate in sports betting. So, the ill-fated bill came to a sudden end in the House Ways and Means Committee. On top of that, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh affirmed to legislators that a vote would, indeed, be necessary to offer sports betting expansion.

The third attempt to legalize sports betting came in 2020, and, initially, seemed to be proceeding along the same arc as the first two attempts. This time, the bill came from the Senate and became SB4. SB4 passed unanimously in the Senate but stopped cold in the House. However, representatives in the House did not slam the door on the initiative in the same manner that their Senate colleagues had in the past. Instead, they stripped out the regulatory language and presented SB4 as a voter question on the ballot. The members approved, the senators approved, and in November 2020, the voters approved, too.

Thus, sports betting became a mandate from the people in Maryland. All that remained was to pass an enabling piece of legislation and formulate a set of rules to regulate and monitor the new industry. The enabling piece of legislation is the aforementioned HB940.