Maryland Sports Betting — Future Mobile And Retail Sportsbooks, Info & FAQ

Maryland voters approved a ballot measure that legalized sports betting in 2020. The ballot featured a simple “yes” or “no” question, and the answer was ultimately “yes”. The state legislature has since passed a sports betting measure which Governor Larry Hogan signed into law in May 2021. The accompanying list of regulations were approved on July 15th, 2021. A handful of retail sportsbooks opened for business in December 2021, but mobile betting has been bogged down by the state’s notoriously slow regulatory process.

Following a recent turn of events on September 6, 2022, the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) officially opened up an application window for mobile sports betting operators seeking to enter the state. Brands will have until 5:00pm ET on October 21st to submit their applications and once that deadline passes, SWARC will review them and begin awarding licenses as they see fit. This process can take up to 45 days but may end up being faster, leaving a serious possibility for a mobile sports betting launch in Maryland before the end of 2022.

Sports wagering is already legal in every one of Maryland’s neighboring jurisdictions. The state will soon join VirginiaWest Virginia, Pennsylvania, and others on the growing list of states with legal online sports betting.

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Maryland sports betting: A road map

The question on the ballot, which was labeled “Maryland Question 2” or “The Sports Betting Expansion Measure” — read simply:

“Do you approve the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland to authorize sports and events betting for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education?”

There was little organized opposition against the referendum, while DraftKings and FanDuel spent heavily on a campaign in support. The measure passed by a comfortable margin.

Constitutional question

For Maryland sports betting backers in the General Assembly, wagering would have begun shortly after the Supreme Court struck down the federal sports gambling ban in May 2018, which granted every state the autonomy to legalize betting. However, Maryland’s constitution prohibits gambling expansion without majority approval via ballot measure.

Maryland voters have largely supported gambling initiatives in recent years, permitting casino gaming in 2008 and supporting horse racing for decades — most notably the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.

Legislative “lens of inclusion”

Before the legislation was passed but after the ballot measure was approved, it was expected that 10 or so sportsbooks would be licensed to operate in Maryland. Those predictions were wildly inaccurate. Turns out there will be up to 60 sportsbook licenses issued! There are not 60 brands operating in the United States, so this will take some doing. Maryland is set to create a unique, innovative regulatory structure that will allow mom-and-pop businesses to apply for a license. This could result in many independent operators accepting bets on sports without a casino partner.

The legislation was created with a “lens of inclusion.” Legislators wanted to specifically make it easier for women- and minority-owned businesses to enter the sports betting industry. Minority and female applicants will have the full support of regulators as they go through the licensing process. Other inclusive measures include licensed kiosks being available to small businesses in the state, the owners of which will pay a smaller licensing fee than their larger competitors. Maryland is the first state to intentionally expand the sports betting pie to include non-casinos and minority-owned businesses. The Maryland sports betting possibilities are intriguing to say the least. Pickles Pub sports betting app? Sure! Jimmy Cantler’s Riverside Inn and Sportsbook? Ok! Old Major Baltimore Beer Bar and Betting? Why not?

So, what’s in the bill?

There are up to 40 potential retail licenses up for grabs that are broken down into Class A and Class B status, along with subcategories Class A-1, Class A-2, Class B-1, and Class B-2, each based on the following criteria:

Class A-1: Professional sports venues of the Baltimore Ravens, Washington Commanders, and Baltimore Orioles, plus any future professional teams, and casinos with over 1,000 video lottery terminals.

Class A-2: Video lottery operators with less than 1,000 terminals and horse racetracks at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness Stakes.

Class B-1: Defined in the proposed regulations as applicants who are “not eligible for a Class B-2 facility license,” and includes the Maryland State Fairgrounds.

Class B-2: Organizations with fewer than 25 employees and less than $3 million in “aggregate gross receipts.” Also includes bingo halls and other small businesses.

Ten (10) Class A licenses will be allocated for the state’s six established casinos, three professional sports teams, and a pair of famous horse tracks:

Class A-1

  • M&T Bank Stadium – Baltimore Ravens (NFL)
  • FedEx Field – Washington Commanders (NFL)
  • Oriole Park at Camden Yards – Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
  • MGM National Harbor
  • Horseshoe Baltimore
  • Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland

Class A-2

  • Pimlico Racetrack/Laurel Park Racetrack
  • Hollywood Casino Perryville
  • Ocean Downs
  • Rocky Gap Casino Resort

The thirty (30) Class B licenses will be for established entities in the state and retail stores looking to get into the sports betting market. An additional 7 Class B licenses were also set aside by the state to ensure that the following businesses can obtain one after being qualified by the MLGCC:

Class B (Designated)

  • Maryland State Fairgrounds
  • Greenmount Station (OTB)
  • The Jockey Bar and Grille (OTB)
  • Long Shot’s (OTB)
  • Riverboat on the Potomac (OTB)
  • Bingo World
  • Rod ‘N Reel

Among the 17 locations to receive a designated sports wagering license, only the Rocky Gap Casino has come forth and announced that it does not plan on applying for a betting license.

Mobile sports betting licenses in Maryland

When it comes to online/mobile licenses, Maryland’s motto seems to be, “the more, the merrier” as there will be up to 60 total online licenses up for grabs. Retail license holders can apply along with mobile-only sportsbooks, but must do so by SWARC’s application deadline of October 21st, 2022. After that date, applications will be reviewed and licenses will be awarded within a 45 day window. Mobile wagering in Maryland is expected to go live at some point before the end of 2022.

Application fees and license bonds

When a retail or mobile-only entity apply for a license, there is an initial application fee and they must purchase a license bond. There is also a 15% revenue tax on all sports betting in the state.

LicenseApplication feeLicense bondPerformance bond
A-1$2 million$6 millionn/a
A-2 $1 million$3 millionn/a
B-1$250,000$750,000n/a
B-2$50,000$75,000n/a
Mobile-only$500,000$1.5 million$1.5 million

Maryland mobile sportsbook apps

While we may be months away from totally filling the Old Line State with (potentially) dozens of mobile sportsbooks, we do have a general idea of which brands will be live in the state on or close to Day 1. As briefly mentioned above, there is a total of 60 mobile sports betting licenses up for grabs, each of which will require a $500,000 application fee. Brands will need to submit their application by October 21st, 2022 and gain approval from the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) in order to begin accepting action in the state.

Gov. Larry Hogan had previously applied pressure on SWARC to launch online sports betting with a target date of September 8, 2022 in mind, right before the NFL season was set to kick off. Although Hogan wanted to put some pressure on SWARC to try and launch by the start of football, his plan never came to fruition.

Reports started to indicate that mobile sports wagering was unlikely to occur in 2022 altogether in the Free State. SWARC then took a huge step forward in July when they approved the proposed mobile sports wagering regulations and applications, but amid several delays, were unable to finalize some betting regulations.

As a result, SWARC was originally eyeing a mobile launch by the Super Bowl – but in a surprising turn of events, on September 6th – officially opened the application process for mobile sportsbooks. This means the timeline for the mobile sports betting launch in Maryland has been expedited and is now expected to happen before the end of 2022. Time will tell if Maryland lawmakers can make this happen.

Online Sportsbook (Projected)LocationOwner
Barstool SportsHollywood Casino PerryvilleGaming and Leisure Properties (Penn National)
BetFanaticsTBD/UnkownTBD/Unknown
BetfredLong Shot'sFamily-owned
BetMGMMGM National HarborMGM Resorts International
BetRiversBingo WorldBingo World Inc.
CaesarsHorseshoe CasinoCaesars Entertainment
DraftKingsMaryland State FairgroundsMaryland State Fair & Agricultural Society, Inc.
FanDuelLive! Casino and HotelThe Cordish Companies
PointsBetRiverboat on the PotomacDelmock Entertainment
SuperBook SportsCamden YardsBaltimore Orioles
TBD/UnknownOcean Downs CasinoChurchill Downs
TBD/UnknownPimlico Race CourseStronach Group
TBD/UnknownLaurel ParkStronach Group
TBD/UnknownRosecroft RacewayStronach Group
TBD/UnknownFedEx FieldWashington Commanders
TBD/UnknownFair Hill RacesState of Maryland
TBD/UnknownGreenmount StationFamily-owned
TBD/UnknownThe Jockey Bar and GrilleFamily-owned
TBD/UnknownRod 'N ReelFamily-owned

Barstool Sportsbook

Barstool Sportsbook owner Penn National Gaming has brought its notorious sports wagering media and entertainment brand to a growing number of states and Maryland is next on its list. Gaming and Leisure Properties, a real estate investment trust spun off from Penn National, owns Hollywood Casino Perryville and still has close ties to its former parent company. Located just a few miles from the Pennsylvania border, where Penn National is headquartered, the Perryville casino will be the home for the Barstool retail and online sportsbook, the former of which opened in December 2021.

BetFanatics

Fanatics, the enormous online apparel company, has broadened its reach to include sports betting and will soon debut its BetFanatics Sportsbook platform throughout the United States. Despite not launching elsewhere just yet, BetFanatics is expected to arrive in Maryland as one of its first destinations.

In June 2022, the Maryland Lottery gave Fanatics the stamp of approval for a ‘sports wagering facility operator license’. This means that BetFanatics will be getting into the retail sports betting market in the state, and should also factor when online betting eventually begins.

Betfred

In July 2022, Betfred Sportsbook announced that it had reached an agreement with Long Shot’s in Frederick, MD. The Combo BBQ restaurant / off-track betting site will be the home of a retail Betfred Sportsbook. Once online sports betting in Maryland begins, the Betfred Sportsbook app will be available in the state through the same partnership.

BetMGM

There are no sure bets in the oftentimes complex process of sportsbook affiliation, but it was never in doubt that BetMGM Sportsbook would operate in Maryland. MGM National Harbor is one of the state’s most popular casinos, but the company also partnered with the Baltimore Ravens, which could make BetMGM the team’s online skin. BetMGM opened a retail sportsbook at its National Harbor location in December 2021. It will assuredly use its own BetMGM Sportsbook app for its flagship sports betting product, which is already available digitally in several states and is pushing one of the more rapid expansions of any operator in the country.

BetRivers

Rush Street Interactive’s popular mobile sportsbook arm, BetRivers, has been making waves on the Maryland front for quite a few years now. The company first struck a deal with Penn National Gaming in February 2021 that would grant BetRivers market access in Maryland, along with Ohio and Missouri. With PNG’s Hollywood Casino Perryville location already occupied by its retail Barstool Sportsbook, it was revealed almost exactly one year later in February 2022 that BetRivers would be partnering with Bingo World instead.

On March 16, 2022, both Bingo World and Rush Street Interactive were approved by the MLGCC to receive their respective sports betting licenses, officially setting them up for an eventual retail launch on August 2, 2022. The brand new BetRivers Sportsbook at Bingo World debuted as the first non-casino retail book to go live in the state. Once digital wagering launches in Maryland, expect the BetRivers mobile app to follow.

Caesars Sportsbook

Horseshoe Casino owner Caesars Entertainment opened up a retail Caesars Sportsbook at its Baltimore location in early December 2021, and there’s a very high chance its incredible mobile app will follow. Caesars already offers digital wagering in a multitude of nearby states and would immediately become one of the top sportsbook options in Maryland. The brand also struck a 2020 deal as ESPN’s exclusive line provider, furthering its visibility to millions of American sports fans.

Churchill Downs Inc. Skin

Considering Ocean Downs Casino is owned by Churchill Downs, the parent company behind TwinSpires, this pairing was a match made in heaven from the start. As a result, Ocean Downs opened up a retail TwinSpires sportsbook at its Berlin location in December 2021.

Unfortunately just two months later in February 2022, CDI announced that it would be pulling the plug on all of TwinSpires’ online sports betting and casino operations in hopes of shifting the brand’s focus back to horse racing. The retail sportsbook at Ocean Downs remains open but with TwinSpires out on any online sports betting ventures moving forward, the casino should have a vacant skin available.

DraftKings

One of the largest U.S. sportsbooks in terms of market share, number of retail locations, and available states, it seems certain that DraftKings will find a way to enter Maryland one way or another. On August 18, 2021, both DraftKings and the Baltimore Ravens announced a deal that would make DK the Official Daily Fantasy Sports, Sports Betting, Free-to-Play Partner of the team. The deal marked DraftKings’ first partnership in the state of Maryland, leading many to believe that the brand could hitch its wagon to M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Ravens, for market access. However, as of August 2022, the state of Maryland approved DraftKings for a retail sports wagering license and the sports betting giant now has plans to open a facility at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium.

FanDuel

As one of the largest sports betting brands in the nation, it appears it’s only a matter of when, not if, FanDuel will enter the Maryland mobile sports betting market. The Cordish Companies, owner of Live! Casino and Hotel, already had ties with FanDuel in Pennsylvania and immediately linked up with the brand in Maryland, adding a retail FanDuel Sportsbook to its Live! Casino and Hotel in Arundel Mills in December 2021. Once FanDuel goes live via mobile, the brand should easily become one of the state’s top commercial operators.

PointsBet

In June 2021, PointsBet officially announced a partnership with the Riverboat on the Potomac to offer both retail and online sports betting. On September 12, 2022, PointsBet officially launched its retail location. The Riverboat on the Potomac is a licensed satellite simulcast OTB facility and is a minority-owned small business. Additionally, PointsBet signed a marketing agreement with the University of Maryland.

The Australia-based sportsbook offers some of the best promotions in the US iGaming industry, and will soon bring its high-risk, high-reward PointsBetting wagering to Maryland’s developing online market. For a full rundown on how to ‘PointsBet’, be sure to check out our full PointsBet review.

Maryland land-based retail sportsbooks

CasinoRetail SportsbookLocationRetail Launch Date
MGM National HarborBetMGM Sportsbook & LoungeOxon HillDec. 9, 2021
Live! Casino & HotelFanDuel SportsbookArundel MillsDec. 10, 2021
Horseshoe CasinoCaesars SportsbookBaltimoreDec. 10, 2021
Ocean Downs CasinoTwinSpires SportsbookBerlinDec. 19, 2021
Hollywood Casino PerryvilleBarstool SportsbookPerryvilleDec. 23, 2021
Riverboat on the PotomacPointsBet SportsbookColonial BeachSep. 12, 2022
Bingo WorldBetRivers SportsbookBaltimoreAug. 2, 2022

Professional Maryland Sports Teams

Odds from FanDuel and they are subject to change.

Team NameLeague1st MD seasonOdds
Baltimore OriolesMajor League Baseball1954Win World Series +50000
Baltimore RavensNational Football League1996Win Superbowl +1400
Washington CommandersNational Football League1997 (played in D.C. 1937–1997)Win Superbowl +13000

The Latest Maryland Sports Betting News

Maryland demographics and teams

Maryland has the nation’s highest median household income, fifth-densest population and, with just over 6 million residents, the 18th largest overall population. These demographic factors, plus popular sports teams such as the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, MLB’s Baltimore Orioles and the NCAA’s Maryland Terrapins, have industry stakeholders believing it could be one of the more lucrative per capita markets in the U.S.

The launch of legal online sports betting should also help Maryland keep gambling dollars within state lines. Residents of the state that prefer to do their betting online are currently forced to take a short drive over to neighboring Virginia or even select areas of Washington D.C. in order to place any wagers. Once Maryland moves forward with its digital debut, Old Line State bettors will gain the same convenience and incentives as players in nearby jurisdictions with mobile sports betting.

More background on legalization

Maryland was one of the first states to consider legal sports betting after the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban in May 2018. It would take almost two years before state lawmakers would pass a bill to do so — and even then, the decision was sent to the voters.

The court’s ruling in Murphy v. NCAA came too late in Maryland’s 2018 legislative session for lawmakers to finalize a sports betting bill that year. Backers in the General Assembly tried to pass a bill again in 2019, but the attorney general’s office determined any sports betting bill was subject to the state’s constitutional gambling ban. That meant voters would have to approve sports betting via a ballot measure, which couldn’t come until the November 2020 elections at the earliest. With no chance for final approval in 2019, lawmakers tabled the bill for the year.

In 2020, lawmakers again took up sports betting knowing that a failure would delay legal wagering until at least 2022. Despite bipartisan support early in the 2020 session, the COVID-19 pandemic cut short the legislative session and pushed lawmakers to curtail a more robust bill. They instead passed the limited measure that voters approved, giving the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission regulatory authority. All additional details were left to be hashed out by lawmakers. Lawmakers presented the final list of regulations in July 2021, and were looking good to launch at some point in the Fall.

On December 9, 2021, Governor Larry Hogan, joined by Washington football legend Joe Theismann, placed the first legal bets in the state’s history at MGM National Harbor – officially jumpstarting Maryland’s retail sports betting market.

Less than one year later on September 6, 2022, the state officially began accepting mobile operator applications in an effort to launch digital wagering by the end of the calendar year. It remains to be seen when exactly online sports betting will debut in Maryland, however we can confirm it is on its way.

History of legal gambling in Maryland

Though Kentucky usually comes to mind when Americans think of horse racing, Maryland’s history in the sport is nearly as rich. For 150 years, Maryland has bred some of horse racing’s greatest champions and hosted many of its most iconic races. Home to Pimlico Race Course, the nation’s second-oldest commercial horse track, and host of one of the sport’s Triple Crown events — the annual Preakness Stakes — Maryland remains one of the country’s more viable horse racing markets, even as nationwide interest wanes.

In more recent times, Maryland has been better known for a growing casino market. Since New Jersey brought legal casino gambling to the East Coast in the 1970s, the entire Mid-Atlantic region has slowly embraced commercial gaming. Like several other states in the region, Maryland approved its first casinos within the first few years of the 2000s. By 2016, Maryland had six full-scale casinos, including MGM National Harbor. Located near the borders of D.C. and Virginia, the property is the highest-grossing casino in the state.

As the region continues to expand its gaming offerings, especially after long-time holdout Virginia approved its first casinos in 2020, Maryland has looked to stay ahead of regional competition in an increasingly saturated market. The prospect of statewide mobile sports betting could help attract new customers while keeping Marylanders from crossing state lines to wager.

In the 1870s, Maryland was a leader in commercial horse racing at a time when it was the nation’s only major legal gaming avenue. A century later it was one of the early adopters of a state-sanctioned lottery. With voters approving sports wagering in 2020 – as they did casino gambling in 2008 – Maryland can be considered a relatively early adopter, this time as one of the second wave of states with statewide sports wagering.

Maryland Sports Betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in the state of Maryland?

Yes! Voters in Maryland approved legalizing sports betting in a 2020 ballot referendum. The legislature then passed legislation to create the regulatory framework needed to bring legal sports betting to the state. That legislation was signed into law in May 2021. Regulators finished up the rulemaking and regulatory process in July of 2021 but approval of licenses for mobile sportsbooks has been frustratingly slow. Retail sportsbooks opened in five locations in December 2021 but bettors will be waiting until late 2022 for mobile betting, at the very least.

Who can place a real-money sports bet in Maryland?

State officials have not finalized eligibility requirements ahead of the voter referendum, but expect bettors age 21 and up that are physically located within state lines to be able to place a bet via a mobile device. There will also likely be certain additional eligibility restrictions, such as gambling self-exclusion lists.

How many online sportsbooks will be available in Maryland?

A lot! There could be about 40 locations that will offer retail betting via kiosk and, in an unusual move, the legislature approved a framework that includes the authority to approve up to 60 sportsbook licenses. Legislative leaders sought to bring minorities and women into the sports betting industry, and regulators will pay particular attention to ensuring small businesses and minority-owned businesses have the opportunity to apply for a sports betting license.

Can I bet in other states or Washington D.C.?

Other neighboring states such as Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania have already approved mobile wagering, but bettors may need to download separate apps when leaving Maryland and crossing into these other states. Washington D.C. currently only has one citywide mobile app which is run by the District lottery and is only available within city lines.

Will mobile sportsbooks offer bonuses for new players?

Yes. All of Maryland’s online sportsbooks will have some sort of welcome bonus available to new users. Each of the leading nationwide brands that enter the market will likely offer a deal similar to the ones they’ve been offering in other states with legal wagering, including risk-free bets, deposit matches, odds boosts, and many other lucrative options.

What bet types and betting markets will be available?

Maryland regulators still need to finalize eligible markets, but all major professional and college sports including the NFL, NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, MLB, NHL and many more will be available. Officials seem disinclined to ban wagering on in-state college programs, meaning bets on programs such as the University of Maryland should be permitted.

What options will I have for depositing and withdrawing funds?

Specifics over deposit and withdraw options are not yet finalized, but Maryland sportsbooks will probably allow at minimum deposits through credit cards, debit cards, ACH transfers, pre-paid cards, cash at casino cages and digital payment processors such as PayPal. Most if not all of these options will also be available for withdrawals.

Brett Smiley

Brett Smiley

Brett Smiley is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Sports Handle, which joined forces with the US Bets team in November 2018. He focuses on the sports betting industry and legislation. He's a recreational sports bettor and DFS player himself, focusing on the NFL. In a past life, Smiley practiced commercial litigation in New York City and previously wrote for FOX Sports and SI.com. He lives in New Jersey with his family.

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