Maryland is poised to trade smashing crabs for smashing sports gambling revenue projections. Maryland voters had their say and voted to legalize sports betting via a 2020 referendum. The state legislature passed a sports betting measure in April 2021, and Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr (R) signed sports betting bill HB 940 into law in May 2021.
The Old Line State is the last of its Mid-Atlantic brethren to legalize sports betting — sports wagering is legal in each of its neighboring jurisdictions. The abundance of in-state sports franchises, coupled with its proximity to those in nearby states, positions Maryland as a likely competitive U.S. market for sports betting.
Read on for a detailed summary of everything you need to know about sports wagering in Maryland.
Population: 6.2 million
Legal age for sports betting: 21
Online sports betting: TBD
Retail sportsbooks: TBD
Sports betting revenue: N/A
Short answer: Yes. Maryland Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr. signed sports betting bill HB 940 into law in May 2021. However, there's a rub, and it isn't Old Bay.
Gov. Hogan was informed by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) that launching sports betting ahead of the NFL regular-season opener on Sept. 9 is not feasible. Upon receiving the news, Gov. Hogan told Maryland Matters: “I pressed them pretty hard about making sure we get it done at least by the end of football season when all the betting takes place, really — in the playoffs and the Super Bowl.”
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) posted the draft rules to the Maryland Register on Aug. 27, 2021. The public comment period lasts 30 days, with a public meeting locked for Sept. 22, 2021.
Follow Maryland's and each state's progress with our sports betting legal tracker.
Positive momentum at all levels of government is likely to propel MD sports betting legalization. While we anticipate legal battles, all signs point to a legal launch date in 2021 or early 2022.
Read about notable moments in Maryland's march to legalize sports betting:
As the pieces for Maryland's sports betting puzzle slowly fall into place, several details have emerged. The bill, in its current form, permits as many as 60 mobile and online sportsbooks.
Each mobile sportsbook licensee is allowed to partner with an online betting platform operator, who must secure an operator license. All sports betting licenses are valid for five years.
Residents aged 21 or older will be eligible to wager on sports. Maryland's State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission will regulate sports betting, which could start this year.
Review these tips in advance of legalized Maryland sports betting.
Sports betting in MD will be reserved for individuals 21 and older.
Retail licenses were awarded to Maryland's six casinos, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course thoroughbred racing tracks and the affiliated stadiums for the Baltimore Orioles, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Washington Football Team.
Removing legal sports wagering red tape is underway. Expansive licensing for as many as 60 mobile betting operators, and its favorable geographic location, could position Maryland ahead of D.C. and Virginia, which have both implemented legal sports betting.
Once the formal legal wagering switch has been flipped, Maryland bettors will enjoy fully remote registration. Persons within the state will not be required to sign up for or verify an online sportsbook account in person.
Maryland will leverage geolocation tracking software to verify your location. MD residency is not a requirement, but you must be physically present within the state's borders to place bets.
In Maryland, winnings in excess of $5,000 are subject to 25% withholding for federal and state income tax purposes. That figure climbs to 28% if you do not furnish or provide your Social Security Number.
Legal sports betting in Maryland is close to reality. Until then, nearby neighborly options exist, including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia. Each has legalized and regulated sports betting, either via mobile, in-person, or a combination thereof.
Anyone physically located in those jurisdictions is free to register and place a sports bet. Online bettors can download one of the authorized mobile apps and follow the prompts to start betting.
The Free State's move to legalize sports wagering and implement the necessary infrastructure is encouraging — as many as 60 online sportsbooks are allowed to operate in MD.
There's also potential to open retail sportsbooks at professional sports stadiums, casinos, and race tracks. Plus, up to 30 additional license holders for brick-and-mortar betting facilities.
With as many as 60 online sportsbooks eligible to enter the market, plus the option of visiting a retail sportsbook, MD bettors should have access to more options than any other state. Until then, you can familiarize yourself with the setup process.
The list of confirmed operators has yet to be finalized, but we're expecting to see prominent industry players get a seat at Maryland's sports betting table.
Researching each feature and reading sportsbook reviews is vital — you'll want to identify which one of the bunch, or multiple options, best satisfies your betting requirements.
The promise of fully remote registration means Maryland sports bettors should have the option to sign-up with a sportsbook from just about anywhere in the state. All users must share their personal information, and identity verification checks are made using your driver's license or Social Security Number.
The potential record number of sportsbooks on hand in Maryland should benefit the playing customer. Generous sign-up bonuses, risk-free bets, no-deposit bonuses, deposit matches, and additional incentives should be coming down the turnpike.
Adding real money funds to your account before choosing any wagers is necessary.
While the legal landscape is in flux, regulated Maryland sportsbooks will likely authorize the use of credit cards, debit cards, ACH transfers, pre-paid cards, cash at casino cages, and digital payment methods like PayPal for minimum deposits. Similar options should be available for withdrawals, too.
Again, Maryland's competitive landscape should benefit its consumers. We always advise players to shop betting lines and compare pricing before making a bet.
Maryland will follow the lead of all U.S. states and display American betting odds as the default selection.
You can spot favorites by looking for the minus sign (-), and the value that follows identifies the amount you must wager to win $100. In this example, -190 odds mean you need to risk $190 to win $100.
Look out for the plus sign (+) to identify underdogs, highlighting the amount you would win if you placed a $100 bet. For example, +110 odds indicate that a $100 wager would net $110 in profit.
We developed an odds converter to help you toggle between American, fractions, or decimals odds.
Marylanders cannot yet wager with a regulated local sportsbook. When legal sports become a reality, all professional, college, and Olympic sports will be viable wagering plays.
It will not be legal to wager on political activity in Maryland at the state or federal level.
Betting on various awards shows, including the Academy Awards, will not be permissible in MD.
Maryland will allow college sports betting, including wagering on in-state collegiate teams.
Researching your bets is a great way to eliminate bias. Backing the home team feels good but might damage your bankroll.
Our how to bet guides provide actionable insights for new and intermediate bettors.
Marylanders are fond of gambling: Gaming revenue at the state's six casinos set a record high in July 2021 for the third time in five months.
Maryland is home to six land-based casinos, each of which received licenses for in-person sports betting. Traditional table games and slots aplenty are found at each of the casinos.
In Maryland, no laws prohibiting playing online poker exist. It falls within a grey area, meaning offshore sites are in play. However, there are four legit poker rooms in Maryland, including Maryland Live! Casino. The state’s largest casino hosts one of the stops on the World Poker Tour.
Maryland boasts a rich horse racing history. The state is home to Pimlico Race Course, the host site for the annual Preakness Stakes, one of the sport’s Triple Crown events.
Maryland was one of the first states to pass a law explicitly legalizing fantasy sports. DFS operators are not required to complete a registration process or pay any registration fees, making it easier for new entrants to operate. DraftKings, FanDuel, Monkey Knife Fight, and Yahoo are among the more popular operators.
The collection of Maryland gambling taxes and fees contribute to funding responsible gambling education and support programs. Marylanders with gambling problems can leverage resources only a phone call — or a click — away.
Additionally, every licensed and legal sportsbook anticipated to launch in Maryland addresses responsible gaming as part of its platform.
Maryland is catching up with its already legalized Mid-Atlantic neighbors. Once MD formally legalizes sports betting, they will join these other states: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Legal, regulated options are coming to Maryland. In the meantime, don't risk your hard-earned cash or waste your time betting with sportsbooks that don't play by the rules.
If you come across any offshore sports betting site in Maryland, it is operating illegally.
Yes, but regulated and legal sports betting sites are not yet operational in Maryland.
The minimum gambling age is 21 for casino-style games and will be the same for sports betting in Maryland. It is 18 for bingo, lottery games, and pari-mutuel betting.
You can’t yet gamble on sports in Maryland with regulated operators. MD bettors will soon gain the ability to wager online or at a retail sportsbook.
Not yet, but Maryland gamers will have the ability to wager on esports. House Bill 940 includes references "requiring certain fantasy competition operators to register with the State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission."
Yes, in the near future. Maryland will allow betting on local professional teams and college sports, including wagering on in-state collegiate teams.
The Maryland State Lottery & Gaming Control Agency is tasked with regulating sports wagering.
Maryland will issue as many as 60 licenses. Holders of a retail license can apply along with mobile-only sportsbooks.
When MD lawmakers finalize sports betting regulations, residents and visitors alike will have the ability to place wagers online.
Maryland will dole out 60 licenses for statewide mobile sportsbooks.
DraftKings does not currently offer sports betting in Maryland. However, you register with DraftKings for Daily Fantasy Sports.