|📜 Is sports betting legal in Maryland?||Yes|
|🚫 How old do I have to be to bet in Maryland?||21+|
|🔓 Which bookmakers are available?||Barstool, Betfred, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet|
|💰 Are there welcome bonuses?||Yes! Bookmakers offer some great welcome bonuses in Maryland.|
Now that Maryland is home to a legal online wagering scene, don’t hesitate to jump on one of the many launch offers that are currently available in the state. Bettors can take advantage of excellent offers on many of the top sportsbooks now live in Maryland.
|Betting App Apple Store + Google Play Scores||MD Sportsbook Offers|
| Fanatics Sportsbook|
4.8 Stars / 45 Ratings
3.7 Stars / 115 Reviews
|Bet $10+ on Any Market, Get $200 in Bonus Bets!|
| BetMGM Sportsbook|
4.8 Stars / 152.1K Ratings
3.7 Stars / 18.4K Reviews
|First Bet Offer: Get up to $1,500 Paid Back in Bonus Bets If You Don't Win!|
| FanDuel Sportsbook|
4.8 Stars / 1M Ratings
4.7 Stars / 201K Reviews
|Bet $5, Get $200 in Bonus Bets|
| Caesars Sportsbook|
4.6 Stars / 41.8K Ratings
4.3 Stars / 19.6K Reviews
|Up to $1000 Back in Bonus Bets if Your First Bet Loses|
| PointsBet Sportsbook|
4.8 Stars / 39.3K Ratings
4.4 Stars / 10.5K Reviews
|Get Up to $1000 in Bonus Bets, Starting With $100 on Any Market!|
Fanatics Sportsbook Terms: New users only, 21+. Note: You must wager $1+ for 10 straight days to receive the full $200 in bonus bets. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (OH/TN) or visit www.mdgamblinghelp.com (MD), (800)-327-5050 or gamblinghelplinema.org (MA).
Maryland Sports Betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in the state of Maryland?
Yes! Retail sportsbooks opened in various locations throughout the state in December 2021. Less than one year later on November 23, 2022, mobile sports betting also went live in Maryland.
When did online sports betting launch in Maryland?
Mobile sports betting officially launched in Maryland on Wednesday, November 23, 2022.
Who can place a real-money sports bet in Maryland?
Anyone aged 21+ and physically located in the state of Maryland will be eligible to place bets with a legal Maryland sportsbook. There are also additional eligibility restrictions, such as gambling self-exclusion lists.
How many online sportsbooks are available in Maryland?
While state legislature approved a framework that includes the authority to approve up to 60 mobile sportsbook licenses, only ten licenses were approved ahead of Maryland’s November 2022 launch. Seven out of those ten brands went live on the state’s first day with online wagering.
Can I bet in other states or Washington D.C.?
Other neighboring states such as Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania have also 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.
Do Maryland mobile sportsbooks offer bonuses for new players?
Yes. All of Maryland’s online sportsbooks offer some sort of welcome bonus to all first-time users. For full details on each brand’s active promotion, scroll up to the top of this page.
What bet types and betting markets are available in Maryland?
What options do players have for depositing and withdrawing funds?
Specifics over deposit and withdraw options vary from book to book, however most Maryland sportsbooks offer, 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 are also available for withdrawals.
Maryland sports betting: A road map
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 was approved on July 15th, 2021. A handful of retail sportsbooks opened for business in December 2021, and mobile wagering eventually followed on November 23, 2022.
Maryland Votes for Sports Betting
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.
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 prohibited gambling expansion without majority approval via ballot measure.
Maryland voters had 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. The 2020 vote held to this trend.
Legislative “lens of inclusion”
Before the legislation was passed but after the ballot measure was approved, it was expected that 10 or so sportsbooks could be licensed to operate in Maryland. Those predictions were wildly inaccurate. Turns out there can 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 allows mom-and-pop businesses to apply for a license. This could eventually 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 have had 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.
So, what’s in the Maryland sports betting 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 are allocated for the state’s six established casinos, three professional sports teams, and a pair of famous horse tracks:
- 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
- Pimlico Racetrack/Laurel Park Racetrack
- Hollywood Casino Perryville
- Ocean Downs
- Rocky Gap Casino Resort
The thirty (30) Class B licenses are 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 are up to 60 total online licenses up for grabs. Retail license holders were able to apply along with mobile-only sportsbooks, but they had to do so by the SWARC’s application deadline of October 21, 2022.
SWARC then met on November 16, where they awarded 10 initial sportsbook licenses for Maryland. Sportsbooks that were approved for a Maryland online sports betting license include:
- Barstool Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- Fanatics Sportsbook
Out of the 10 operators approved to go live in Maryland, only seven of them did so on the state’s first day of legal online wagering. Barstool, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet all opened up their virtual doors in Maryland on November 23, 2022. Betfred was the first book to launch in MD in 2023, with betPARX and Fanatics expected to follow.
Application fees and license bonds
When a retail or mobile-only entity apply for a Maryland 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.
|License||Application fee||License bond||Performance bond|
|A-1||$2 million||$6 million||n/a|
|A-2||$1 million||$3 million||n/a|
|Mobile-only||$500,000||$1.5 million||$1.5 million|
The Lead up to Launch
Following a 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 had until 5:00pm ET on October 21 to submit their applications and once that deadline passed, SWARC would begin to review them.
Shortly after, SWARC reported that 10 applications had been submitted ahead of the deadline. The applicants underwent a thorough review on October 27, and after that, November 16 was the date that everyone was focused on. After the November 16 meeting, it was revealed which brands had been awarded a sports betting license in Maryland and would be set to go live on the state’s launch date of November 23, 2022.
Moving the Goal Posts for MD Launch
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 apply 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.
After that, SWARC had eyed a mobile launch by the Super Bowl – but in a surprising turn of events, on September 6 – officially opened the application process for mobile sportsbooks. This expedited the legalization and as a result, Maryland managed to go live ahead of schedule on November 23, 2022. The state is now home to a full-blown online sports betting market at last.
Maryland mobile sportsbook apps
|Online Sportsbook||Location||Owner||Online Launch Date|
|Barstool Sports||Hollywood Casino Perryville||Gaming and Leisure Properties (Penn National)||November 23, 2022|
|BetMGM||MGM National Harbor||MGM Resorts International||November 23, 2022|
|BetRivers||Bingo World||Bingo World Inc.||November 23, 2022|
|Caesars||Horseshoe Casino||Caesars Entertainment||November 23, 2022|
|DraftKings||Maryland State Fairgrounds||Maryland State Fair & Agricultural Society, Inc.||November 23, 2022|
|FanDuel||Live! Casino and Hotel||The Cordish Companies||November 23, 2022|
|PointsBet||Riverboat on the Potomac||Delmock Entertainment||November 23, 2022|
|Betfred||Long Shot's||Family-owned||February 9, 2023|
|SuperBook Sports||Camden Yards||Baltimore Orioles||April 13, 2023|
|Crab Sports||Crab Sports Inc.||July 13, 2023|
|Fanatics Sportsbook||Fanatics Inc.||August 9, 2023|
|TBD/Unknown||Ocean Downs Casino||Churchill Downs||TBD|
|TBD/Unknown||Pimlico Race Course||Stronach Group||TBD|
|TBD/Unknown||Laurel Park||Stronach Group||TBD|
|TBD/Unknown||Rosecroft Raceway||Stronach Group||TBD|
|TBD/Unknown||FedEx Field||Washington Commanders||TBD|
|TBD/Unknown||Fair Hill Races||State of Maryland||TBD|
|TBD/Unknown||The Jockey Bar and Grille||Family-owned||TBD|
|TBD/Unknown||Rod 'N Reel||Family-owned||TBD|
Barstool Sportsbook owner Penn National Gaming has brought its notorious sports wagering media and entertainment brand to a growing number of states, including Maryland. 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 is the home for the Barstool retail sportsbook that opened its doors in December 2021. The brand’s mobile app went live in partnership with the property on November 23, 2022.
Fanatics, the enormous online apparel company, has broadened its reach to include sports betting and will soon debut its Fanatics Sportsbook platform throughout the United States. Despite not launching elsewhere just yet, Fanatics 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 Fanatics will be getting into the retail sports betting market in the state in addition to mobile wagering, which the brand was officially licensed for in November 2022. As of August 9, 2023, Fanatics Sportsbook has officially launched, and is now available!
New users only, 21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (OH/TN) or visit www.mdgamblinghelp.com (MD), (800)-327-5050 or gamblinghelplinema.org (MA).
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.
Betfred has also been approved and licensed for mobile sports betting in Maryland. The Betfred Sportsbook mobile app hit the market in Maryland on February 9, 2023.
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.
BetMGM opened a retail sportsbook at its National Harbor location in December 2021 and launched mobile wagering in partnership with the brick-and-mortar on November 23, 2022.
Parx Casino & Gaming is based out of Bensalem, Pennsylvania, where it is the largest casino gaming complex in the state. Parx Casino & Racing received its sports betting license from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in October 2018, and soon became just the second PA casino operator to debut an online sportsbook with the launch of Parx Sportsbook in June 2019.
The app would get a complete makeover by March 2022, re-launching in Pennsylvania and debuting in New Jersey under its new betPARX Sportsbook name. The brand hasn’t looked back since, serving customers in both states plus Michigan under the Play Gun Lake skin.
Maryland approved of betPARX expanding its outreach into Free State, cementing a partnership with Greenmount Station, a restaurant and lounge in historic Hampstead where betPARX will open a retail location. The location currently offers off-track betting, where you can legally gamble on horse racing outside a race track. Mobile wagering in Maryland has yet to commence for betPARX, however the brand should be live in the state by the end of 2023.
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. The BetRivers mobile app followed a few months later, launching on November 23, 2022 as one of the first digital operators to go live in Maryland.
Horseshoe Casino owner Caesars Entertainment first opened up a retail Caesars Sportsbook at its Baltimore location in early December 2021. Less than one year later on November 23, 2022, the Caesars Sportsbook mobile app went live in Maryland via market access acquired from the same location.
The first mobile wager accepted by Caesars Sportsbook in Maryland was a $5 live bet on Germany -800 to defeat Japan in the 2022 World Cup while winning the match 1-0 at halftime. The bet ended up losing 2-1.
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.
One of the largest U.S. sportsbooks in terms of market share, number of retail locations, and available states, it seemed almost certain that DraftKings would 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, and Free-to-Play Partner of the team. Later that month, 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.
Unsurprisingly, DraftKings was among the first brands to go live in Maryland when online wagering launched in the state on November 23, 2022.
As one of the largest sports betting brands in the nation, it was only a matter of when, not if, FanDuel would enter the Maryland mobile sports betting market. The brand did exactly that on November 23, 2022, the state’s first day with legal online sports betting.
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, previously adding a retail FanDuel Sportsbook to its Live! Casino and Hotel in Arundel Mills in December 2021.
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 in Maryland. 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 officially brought its high-risk, high-reward PointsBetting platform to Maryland’s online market on November 23, 2022. For a full rundown on how to ‘PointsBet’, be sure to check out our full PointsBet review.
SuperBook, borrowing the name and likeness of from the famous Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas, is now accepting legal wagers in the state of Maryland. SuperBook Sports went live on April 13, 2023, it’s presence made possible through a licensing agreement with the MLB’s Baltimore Orioles.
Maryland land-based retail sportsbooks
|Casino||Retail Sportsbook||Location||Retail Launch Date|
|MGM National Harbor||BetMGM Sportsbook & Lounge||Oxon Hill||Dec. 9, 2021|
|Live! Casino & Hotel||FanDuel Sportsbook||Arundel Mills||Dec. 10, 2021|
|Horseshoe Casino||Caesars Sportsbook||Baltimore||Dec. 10, 2021|
|Ocean Downs Casino||TwinSpires Sportsbook||Berlin||Dec. 19, 2021|
|Hollywood Casino Perryville||Barstool Sportsbook||Perryville||Dec. 23, 2021|
|Riverboat on the Potomac||PointsBet Sportsbook||Colonial Beach||Sep. 12, 2022|
|Bingo World||BetRivers Sportsbook||Baltimore||Aug. 2, 2022|
Professional Maryland Sports Teams
The odds are from FanDuel and they are subject to change. – Updated September 22, 2023
|Team Name||League||1st MD season||Odds|
|Baltimore Orioles||Major League Baseball||1954||Win World Series +850|
|Baltimore Ravens||National Football League||1996||Win Super Bowl +1000|
|Washington Commanders||National Football League||1997 (played in D.C. 1937–1997)||Win Super Bowl +7500|
- Location: Baltimore, Maryland
- Stadium Name: Oriole Park at Camden Yards
- Sportsbook Partnership(s): SuperBook Sports
- League: MLB
- Division: AL East
- Championships: 1966, 1970, 1983
Oriole Park at Camden Yards is one of the most beautiful venues you can watch a sport in the entire country. It was completed in 1992 to replace Memorial Stadium and was the first “retro” stadium built in the 1990s or early 2000s. These retro stadiums are old-fashioned ballparks mindful of baseball’s pastimes supplemented with modern amenities.
One of those modern features Oriole fans can look forward to is a retail sportsbook within the ballpark as soon as the 2023 MLB season kicks off. The Baltimore Orioles formed a partnership with SuperBook Sports for sports bettors to enjoy.
On the baseball diamond, the Orioles surprised this year with an 83-79 record and were in the thick of an AL wild-card berth until the end. They will look to build upon that for the 2023 season.
- Location: Baltimore, Maryland
- Stadium Name: M&T Bank Stadium
- Sportsbook Partnership(s): BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel
- League: NFL
- Division: AFC North
- Championships: 2001, 2013
Since their inception in 1996, the Ravens have held the title as Maryland’s best franchise. The Ravens’ fanbase has enjoyed two titles, one of which fielded arguably the greatest defense in NFL history. In addition to their two Super Bowl runs, the Ravens have won six AFC North titles.
The Ravens are currently the odds-on favorite to win their first AFC North title since 2019. Come 2023, Ravens fans could enjoy some wagering at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens have secured four partnerships with some of the U.S.’s best brands, including Caesars Sportsbook. The Emperor agreed to a five-year deal with the Ravens in September 2021, acquiring naming rights throughout the club level at M&T Bank Stadium.
- Location: Summerfield, Maryland
- Stadium Name: FedEx Field
- Sportsbook Partnership(s): FanDuel
- League: NFL
- Division: NFC East
- Championships: 1983, 1988, 1992
The Commanders are in a state of flux as owner Dan Snyder will potentially sell the franchise amidst two separate NFL investigations and a congressional inquiry into allegations of frequent sexual harassment of the team’s females employees, which Snyder and other employees allegedly covered up.
Snyder is not being forced to sell the team, but the writing appears to be on the wall, as the controversial owner hired Bank of America to move along with the sale. The Commanders are valued at $5.6 billion, a ridiculous increase from the $750 million price he bought the team for back in 1999.
Similar to M&T Bank Stadium, time will tell if FedEx Field will have a retail sports betting location open for 2023 (or if the stadium will even exist under new ownership). The Commanders’ only sportsbook partnership at the moment is with FanDuel Sportsbook, however the franchise was approved for a retail sports betting license on August 18, 2022.
The Latest Maryland Sports Betting News
While one Maryland legislator pushes for more sports betting licensees, the state's regulator thinks the market may actually consolidate.
Maryland bettors ended a 13-month run of double-digit sportsbook operator holds in August, faring relatively well in baseball and parlays.
DraftKings' fines came after the Maryland Lottery conducted a recent audit of sports betting operators doing business in the state.
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 can be one of the more lucrative per capita markets in the U.S.
The launch of legal online sports betting also helps Maryland keep gambling dollars within state lines. Residents of the state that prefer to do their betting online were previously forced to take a short drive over to neighboring Virginia or even select areas of Washington D.C. in order to place any wagers. Now that Maryland has moved forward with its digital debut, Old Line State bettors can have 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.
First legal bets
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. Following the state’s application deadline of October 21, the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) met on October 27 to review the applicants.
On November 16, it was revealed that 10 mobile sports betting licenses were awarded to various industry-leading online operators. Licensed brands were eventually given the green light to go live on November 23, 2022, and seven of them did so on the state’s first day with mobile wagering. Sports betting is now fully legal in the state of Maryland.
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 state closed that gap even further with its launch of mobile sports betting on November 23, 2022.
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.
Latest Page Updates
- November 21, 2022: Maryland’s online betting industry soft launched on Monday, November 21.
- November 23, 2022: Update reflected the state’s online sports betting full launch on Wednesday, November 23