Maryland sports betting could be live before the end of 2021. On April 12, 2021, both the Maryland Senate and House passed a mobile sports betting bill, prior to their adjournment for the season. Governor Larry Hogan is expected to sign the bill, which irons out all of the details for licenses, rules, and regulations – the next step to the launch of mobile betting apps in Maryland.
Maryland is a small but populous state located in the nation’s governmental heart. You’d think that this would make it a restrictive state when it comes to gambling, but you’d be wrong. In fact, sports betting is already legal in Maryland and the state government is hashing out the details as you read this text. This means that Maryland is quickly catching up to its neighbors, DC and Virginia. Its expansive licensing rules mean that Maryland will easily pass DC by and could be a competitor to Virginia, which launched betting in January 2021. This is because the Maryland bill authorizes up to 60 mobile betting operators, almost unheard of in the industry.
That’s great news for sports betting enthusiasts. Let’s break down everything you need to know about current Maryland sports betting legislation, the details the proposed bill includes, and how to download a top sportsbook app so you’re ready when the industry launches.
Maryland Sports Betting Recent Updates
April 12, 2021:
Both Maryland state houses passed HB 940 to officially approve retail and online sports betting. The bill allows for 30 retail sportsbook licenses and up to 60 online sportsbook licenses, the highest licensing cap of any jurisdiction in the US. The bill is set to take effect on June 1, 2021.
April 8, 2021:
We reported that HB 940 would pass the statehouses as soon as next week. House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne Jones said of the original approach to this bill: “The House focused on three main objectives: a fair framework, increasing education funding, and maximizing meaningful opportunities for everyone. And I encourage you to consider these tenets as you begin to work on this bill.”
March 5, 2021:
The House Ways & Means Committee sent HB 940—which expanded the number of licenses to allow retail sportsbooks at all major casinos and major league sports venues as well as more online sports betting licenses—to the House floor for a vote. The bill was continuously amended up until the April 12 deadline.
November 3, 2020:
A majority of Maryland voters said, “Yes,” to Question 2 on their ballots, which asked, “Do you favor the expansion of commercial gaming in the state of Maryland to authorize sports and event betting for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education?” Lawmakers would now need to hammer out rules and regulations.
Top Online Sports Betting Apps Coming To Maryland
Here are the most likely Maryland sports betting apps based on existing partnerships:
- BetMGM (partnered with MGM National Harbor)
- Caesars Sportsbook (partnered with Horseshoe Casino Baltimore)
- William Hill (partnered with Horseshoe Casino Baltimore)
- Barstool Sportsbook by Penn National (partnered with Hollywood Casino Perryville)
- TwinSpires Sportsbook (partnered with Ocean Downs)
Other highly likely sports betting apps based on those widely available across the US:
- FanDuel Sportsbook (likely through a partnership with Live! Casino & Hotel)
- DraftKings Sportsbook (DFS platform already available in-state)
- FOX Bet
There aren’t currently any sportsbook operators in Maryland. But we can still make some educated guesses about what sportsbooks are likely to crop up when licensure applications are released.
That’s because Maryland already has several casinos. Many of these land-based casinos are run by commercial enterprises instead of operating on Native American grounds. As a result, several casino operators will undoubtedly try to push for their own sportsbooks to acquire licensure so they can rake in double the revenue as before.
For instance, MGM National Harbor Casino already operates in Maryland. So we expect BetMGM to push for licensure as soon as applications become available. In this case, it would run both a retail sports betting location and the mobile app to allow people to enjoy its fantastic features, player-friendly betting markets, and more from multiple avenues.
However, other sportsbooks are also likely to launch in 2021. These include DraftKings and FanDuel, two of the largest and most well-known sportsbooks in the industry. Both of these sportsbook apps provide fantastic betting markets and very generous opening bonuses worth up to $1000 in the form of deposit matches or risk-free bets, respectively.
Furthermore, both DraftKings and FanDuel already offer daily fantasy sports to Maryland residents. So it would be very easy for both operators to provide sports betting via the same primary mobile app platform.
Since Maryland is likely to provide a plethora of license slots for both retail and mobile sportsbooks, we could see dozens of sportsbooks apply for licensure by the fall of 2021. Other sportsbooks that may look to expand to Maryland include BetRivers, William Hill, and FOX Bet.
All in all, we’ll have to wait and see what sportsbooks announce their intentions to pursue licensure in Maryland before players can prepare.
How To Place A Bet In Maryland
Maybe you already have a sportsbook in mind and know where you want to wager your cash. In that case, you should know how to place a bet in Maryland so you’re ready when the industry finally launches.
However, it’s not yet clear whether Maryland will require in-person registration or will allow you to register entirely online. The process is a little different depending on which method the state decides to follow.
Download Your Sportsbook
Regardless, you’ll first need to download the sportsbook of your choice to your mobile device. To do this, simply download the app from the App Store if you’re on an iPhone device or Google the main sportsbook website if you have an Android device.
Android users can now do the same, as of March 2021, now that the Google Play store revised its policy banning real money gambling apps. However, each app must apply individually for approval, so it might be some time before all the major sportsbook apps are available for download on the platform.
In the meantime, Android users can download their favorite sportsbook from the operator’s official website.
Downloading, in either case, should be quick and mostly automatic. Furthermore, it’s all but certain that Maryland’s sports betting legislation will require any downloaded sportsbook to also install associated geolocation software. This software will track your location and prevent you from placing a wager outside of Maryland state lines.
Register For Your Sportsbook
Once you’ve downloaded your favorite sportsbook to your mobile device, you’ll need to complete the registration process.
If Maryland residents are lucky and online-only registration is allowed, this will be quick and simple. You’ll need to provide your personal information to the sportsbook as you create your account. It’ll ask for information like your Social Security number and physical address.
Then you just need to wait a few minutes while the sportsbook verifies your information and you’ll be set.
If you have to complete the registration process in person, you’ll need to drive to the casino partnered with your downloaded sportsbook and verify your identity there. Naturally, this will take longer and be more difficult for sportsbook enthusiasts, so it’s the less attractive option.
Fund Your Account
Downloading and registering your sportsbook account is just the start. You’ll then need to fund your account through a variety of deposit methods. Different sportsbooks will provide different deposit methods, but they usually allow you to use credit or debit cards, bank account transfers, and electronic wallet transfers.
If the sportsbook you want to use has a physical location, you will likely be able to fund the account with cash by visiting the casino’s cash cage as well.
When funding your account, be aware of any opening bonuses that may apply to your situation. Sportsbook operators frequently provide generous and attractive opening bonuses for new account holders. These bonuses may give you up to hundreds of dollars of site credit that you can use to place your initial wagers.
However, be sure that you read any applicable terms and conditions when it comes to these opening bonuses. Some bonuses must be claimed within a week, for instance, or may only be applicable for certain types of wagers with specific odds ranges.
Place A Wager
After funding your account, you’ll be set to place a wager. Simply navigate through your chosen sportsbook’s betting lines and markets to find a wager that suits your fancy and start betting!
Maryland Legal Sportsbooks
Even though legal sportsbooks are still some months away from launching in Maryland, it’s a good idea to bide your time and wait instead of using an offshore betting site.
Offshore and illegal books don’t have good digital security and may even steal the money you provide to your wagering account. Even worse, you won’t have anyone to turn to when seeking a legal resolution since just using an offshore book is technically breaking the law.
Legal sportsbooks have to report their earnings to the state government and the regulatory body that oversees their actions. In Maryland, this will likely be a special committee or the Maryland Lottery (the specifics are still being hammered out by the state government).
This means that each licensed sportsbook will be well regulated and your personal information will be much safer than it would be with an offshore account. Furthermore, legal sportsbooks have excellent digital security that can protect your personal information from identity theft. Legal sportsbooks are also insured, so even if your account is breached by a hacker, you’ll get refunded up to a certain amount.
Maryland Sports Betting Revenue
According to the Fiscal Summary of HB 940, sports betting revenue is not expected to have any effect on fiscal year (FY) 2021. However, application fees and taxes are expected to generate up to $18.2 million in FY 2022.
Application fees for retail sports betting licenses for established casinos and major league sports venues is $250,000. Application fees for the fairgrounds, minor league teams, and other smaller venues is $50,000. The application fee for a mobile sports wagering license is $500,000, plus a $100,000 annual renewal fee.
Mobile sports betting will also be taxed at 15%, which is 2% more than New Jersey (the largest online betting market) taxes mobile sports betting.
By FY 2026, the state is expected to generate $17.9 million per year from sports betting and daily fantasy sports per year. This would allow an increase in special fund expenditures to $79.4 million by FY 2026.
Special fund expenditures in Maryland extend to a wide range of projects and organizations. In FY 2017, for example, over $4 million in special funds were allocated to zero-interest financing for energy conservation projects.
Maryland is not the most draconian state when it comes to sports betting legalization efforts and gambling in general. Indeed, the state already operates six commercial casinos, which is notable as most other states with legal betting only allow casino games on tribal Native American land.
Online sports betting will further the state’s reputation for liberal gaming. While the state won’t legalize online casinos or poker sites, the majority of US states have yet to legalize online sports betting. Maryland also has a state-run lottery and allows for some charitable gaming activities, such as bingo.
The current sports betting bill in the state legislature is also optimistic for enthusiasts of this activity. The state is currently discussing allowing up to 60 online sports betting operators, more than any other jurisdiction in the US.
While COVID-19 and other legislative hurdles certainly slowed down the legalization process, Maryland overall has been fairly consistent in its push to legalize sports betting since 2018.
Maryland will allow college sports betting. However, it may join other states in restricting bets on in-state college sports, which would mean the Terrapins, Morgan State, Navy, and others would be off the table.
Maryland Betting Successes And Failures
Maryland Sports Betting Success
For now, most of Maryland’s sports betting-related success comes from the relative freedom proposed in its current legislation. Maryland residents over 21 will be able to bet on the following events in-person and online:
- US Professional Sports
- International Professional Sports
- College Sports
- Olympic Sports
- eSports (all competitors must be 18+)
- Motor Sports
- Select Award Shows and Televised Competitions
Plus, up to 60 online sportsbooks in a state creates excellent competition, which is good for sports bettors. While betting apps are vying for your attention, you’ll enjoy lucrative bonus offers and other promotions, particularly around major sporting events like the Super Bowl and March Madness.
Where Could Maryland Improve Online Gambling
Although it’s great that mobile sports betting is on the horizon, it’s also true that Maryland is not currently discussing any other forms of online gaming. It’s a shame as well because Maryland already has several excellent land-based casinos that bring in millions of dollars of state tax revenue every year.
By expanding its online offerings to include casino games and poker games, Maryland might see even more tax revenue for the state government and its education-related goals. Maryland is far from alone in this respect, like most other states that allow legal sports betting also limit online gambling in other forms.
Still, there’s a chance that the success of the upcoming sports betting industry could convince Maryland lawmakers that allowing for online or mobile casino and poker games is a wise idea.
Legalization Effort In Maryland
The legalization effort in Maryland, although it has taken some time, has been very responsible on the part of lawmakers. While an initial sports betting bill almost passed in both the House and Senate, the house decided to strip the bill’s language because they knew most people would not understand the exact specifics or consequences of legalizing sports betting.
Instead, they decided to propose sports betting legalization in a much simpler question. This was important because the people of Maryland would be required to vote on the measure in the November 2020 ballot for legalization to go anywhere in the future.
Although this delayed passage of sports betting legalization by at least a year, it ended up being a positive decision. The measure to legalize sports betting was passed by Maryland’s citizenry with overwhelming support as of November 2020.
After that, lawmakers were free to continue coming up with the specifics and regulations they needed to successfully launch the industry over the next year or so. Maryland’s sports betting legalization effort has also been marked by a push to include as many licenses as possible, increasing competition between the book operators and improving the odds of a successful industry ASAP.
Maryland’s HB 940 bill is widely supported for a number of reasons. The legislation is designed to provide extra sports betting licenses for minority-owned businesses, which is great for both the owners themselves and for overall industry competition.
Furthermore, the proceeds from the bill would be funneled to education and similar needs. This was reflected in the initial question posed on the November 2020 ballot. In other words, people knew that legalizing sports betting would result in a significant boost to education funding across the state.
All in all, Maryland’s sports betting legalization effort has been smart and positive the entire time.
Timeline Of Maryland Sports Betting
- 2018 – Supreme Court strikes down the PASPA
- Nov 22, 2020 – Maryland citizens vote to legalize sports betting
- Jan 2021 – HB 940 is introduced to the state legislature
- Mar 2021 – House Bill passes with a 130-9 vote and advances to the State Senate
- Apr 2021 – State Senate unanimously passes HB 940 with a 47-0 vote and sends the bill to Governor
Maryland Professional Sports Teams
Maryland has a rich and diverse culture, and sports play a big role in the state’s recreational activities. The Baltimore Ravens are one of the state’s most famous teams and made it to the Super Bowl most recently in 2013. It’s a competitive and popular team and its fans will undoubtedly be happy to place wagers on its games in the future.
However, many Maryland football fans also like to wager on the Washington Football Team, which despite its new name actually plays in Landover, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. The team has won three Super Bowls in total.
But Maryland sports fans also like to place wagers on other sports, including baseball. Baltimore’s Orioles have represented the city in the state for decades at this point and the Washington Nationals are another hometown favorite. The Washington Wizards, based out of Washington DC, are a favorite Maryland basketball team.
All in all, Maryland’s future sports betting industry will allow you to place wagers on practically any professional sports league you can imagine.
Maryland College Sports Teams
College sports aren’t as important as professional leagues, but the University of Maryland does field a large collegiate athletic program. Its football and basketball programs are particularly well known. Furthermore, the Navy’s football collegiate program, located in Annapolis, is famous throughout the country.
But whether you’ll be able to place wagers on collegiate teams in Maryland is not yet known. The current sports betting bill on the table hasn’t specified whether collegiate bets will be allowed in general, whether they will only be allowed for out-of-state teams, or whether they will be banned altogether.
Other Sports To Bet On In Maryland
In addition to typical college and professional sports games, players will likely be able to place wagers on other sports and gaming industries, including NASCAR racing, UFC fighting, and more. Larger, more developed sportsbooks such as DraftKings typically have more niche betting markets as well – for example, DraftKings will allow you to place wagers on certain eSports events.
Maryland Sports Betting FAQs
Technically, yes. The people voted to legalize sports betting in Maryland in 2020, but the state legislature still needs to iron out the regulations and rules before the industry can launch properly.
You’ll need to be 21 years of age or older to place online sports bets or to visit any brick-and-mortar casino.
Yes, it will be legal to bet on college sports in Maryland. However, it is still unclear whether bettors can wager on in-state college teams.
No, you will not need to be a resident to bet via a Maryland sports betting app. However, you will need to be at least 21 and physically located in the state to place a bet.
The State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (SLGCC) will regulate online sports betting in the State of Maryland.
Yes, but it currently only offers daily fantasy sports. That’s because sports betting hasn’t yet launched. But the fact that DraftKings already provides DFS to Maryland residents means that it is a likely candidate for licensure when sports betting finally launches.