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After voters approved a measure to bring sports betting to the state in November 2020, the rollout took some time.
The legislation was passed in April 2021 and the first retail sportsbook opened in December of that year.
As for online sports betting, it was legal, but it went through several processes. On November 16, 2022, the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission approved 10 sports betting licenses.
A week later, seven sites launched in Maryland, officially opening the virtual doors.
Here, we’ll take a look at the following:
For more information on other states, browse our comprehensive section on legal US sports betting.
Since November 23, 2022, online sports betting has launched in Maryland. The launched sites include FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, PointsBet, FOX Bet, TwinSpires, and Barstool.
On December 1, 2022, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission, the governing body that oversees online sports betting, approved WynnBET and Bally Bet, though they haven’t launched yet.
The online sports betting launch comes about two years after voters approved it, followed by legislators passing a law in April 2021.
Retail sports betting has been up and running since the first opened in December 2021.
Sports betting, both online and offline, was outlawed in Maryland when PASPA was passed by the Supreme Court in 1992. PASPA acted as a ban on sports betting in almost all of the US States, with Nevada being the one major exception.
Speaking of Las Vegas, Maryland even has a connection with the gambling capital of the US. For a number of years in the late 1940s, Nevada and four counties in southern Maryland were the only locations in the US where slot machines were legally able to pay in hard cash.
The interest in the slot machine casinos remained high until they were finally outlawed in 1968.
Today, interest in casinos in Maryland is growing again. The state currently has six land-based casinos which are well spread out across the state. There are a wide variety of slots and table games on offer, as well as live poker tables. Wagering on horse racing is also legal in Maryland.
Even when gambling was completely outlawed in 1968, Maryland only had to wait a couple of years before the establishment of the state lottery in 1973. Since that time, the lottery has generated over $14 billion in revenue for the state.
As you can see, gambling has been a part of Maryland’s culture for decades. The legalization of sports betting is, therefore, a logical next step, particularly in light of the potential billions of dollars available for the state through regulation and taxation.
There was significant progress made towards sports betting legalization in 2018 in the Old Line State, but as we’ve seen in so many other parts of the US, it is a process that takes time.
Maryland has a bit more red tape to cut than some other states because any change in gambling laws in Maryland requires an amendment to the constitution of the state, which needs to be ratified by voters in a general election.
A bill was introduced in the legislative session in 2018, but in the end, the session closed without the bill being voted on. Throw in the added complication of the election year, and it is very possible that voters will not get the opportunity to vote until the 2020 session.
However, recent polls have suggested that a majority of voters in Maryland will support the bill when they get the chance.
Just like every US state, Maryland has the chance to determine its own sports betting laws in the wake of the Supreme Court decision in 2018, which effectively removed the nationwide ban on sports betting known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.
A measure was then put on the November 2020 ballot to bring sports betting to the state.
As of November 2020, the citizens of Maryland passed a ballot measure legalizing sports betting.
However, it wouldn’t be until April 2021 that lawmakers passed legislation for sports betting.
The first land-based sportsbook opened in December 2021 and online sports betting finally launched in November 2022.
While the Maryland SWARC approved 10 sports betting licenses and added two more to the list with WynnBET and Bally Bet, there are seven active online sportsbooks in the state.
Below are the legal online sportsbook and the retail casinos they’re partnered with.
In addition to the list above, WynnBET, Bally Bet, Betfred, Betparx, and Fanatics licenses were also approved but are awaiting launch.
Now that sports betting is legal and launched for retail and online sportsbooks, you may wonder what sports you can bet on.
Below are the available sports.
Two NFL teams currently play their home games in Maryland.
The Baltimore Ravens have enjoyed quite a lot of success in their short existence. Founded in 1995, the Ravens have made 13 playoff appearances since 2000 and won an impressive two Super Bowls.
Although associated with neighboring Washington DC, the Washington Commanders play out of FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. The recent approval of a sports bill in DC means that while Maryland residents will have to wait to bet on the Ravens, their neighbors in the capital city will soon be able to throw down a few dollars on the Comannders.
Maryland is not currently home to an NBA team. In the past, the Baltimore Bullets represented the state in the NBA until they moved to neighboring DC to become the Washington Wizards.
The Wizards played in Maryland until 1997. Baltimore does have a couple of semi-professional and minor league teams, in the form of the Baltimore Shuckers and the Baltimore Hawks.
In the MLB, the Baltimore Orioles were one of the eight charter teams of the American League. The O’s have a proud tradition in the MLB, winning three World Series titles between 1966 and 1983, and we expect lots of people in Maryland to bet on MLB baseball.
Although the majority of major sports teams in Maryland are concentrated in Baltimore there are a number of minor league teams scattered further afield in the state, such as the Aberdeen IronBirds, the Bowie Baysox and the Frederick Keys.
Maryland is without an NHL team, but in the Maryland Black Bears, they have a representative in the minor leagues.
Plenty of support too can be found for the Washington Capitals, who won their first Stanley Cup in 2018. Like the Washington Redskins, the Capitals played their home games in Maryland until 1997 when they moved to their new shared home in DC.
Although Maryland does not have a representative in MLS, there are many soccer teams that make their home in the state. Lacrosse is popular, with the Chesapeake Bayhawks representing the state in Major League Lacrosse. Some of the most iconic names in the whole of sports are from Maryland, such as Babe Ruth and Michael Phelps.
Regarding college sports, there are no restrictions—you can bet on schools like the University of Maryland. Some other legal states are prohibited from wagering on in-state schools, but that’s not the case in Maryland. You can bet on college sports, no questions asked.
While Maryland does not have a specific law regarding fantasy sports, the state has moved to clarify its position that fantasy sports are exempt from the state gambling laws. In October 2018, the state also moved to transfer the regulation of fantasy sports to the State Lottery and Gaming Commission.
While there have been some queries about whether fantasy sports should be allowed in Maryland, the industry is currently thriving in the state and shows no signs of slowing down.
You can play at DFS sites like FanDuel and DraftKings unprohibited.
A no deposit bonus is a term used for promotions/bonuses that give players site credit simply for creating an account.
Of the seven legal online sportsbooks in Maryland, there’s a collection of risk-free bet and deposit bonus welcome offers, but none include a no-deposit component.
Now that retail and online sports betting is legal in the state, there’s only one direction from here—continue adding more sites to the ecosystem and opening new casinos with a retail sportsbook.
It is still too early to say for sure, but it certainly looks like Maryland is on the right path for legalization. It’s probably more a question of “when” and not “if” at this point.
The recent decision by Washington, DC to offer legal sports betting, the public opinion polls and the noises being made by lawmakers are all positive signs for the future of sports betting in the Old Line State. Not to mention the massive potential tax revenue.
Maryland is a prime candidate for legal sports betting. The public has indicated that they support it, there is a history of gambling in the state and a thriving sports culture.
Really the biggest issue for the legalization process is the fact that the bill would have to be approved by the public in a vote. This means that new legislation can not be expedited through the legislature as it was in other states like Delaware or New Jersey.
However, this can be considered a speed bump rather than a stop sign. At the moment, all signs are pointing towards legal sports betting in Maryland by the end of 2020. There is a slim chance it could arrive even sooner.
Make sure to check back on this page for major developments as they happen.
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After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.More info on Richard Janvrin
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