How We Sifted Through The Best MD Sportsbooks
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency is entitled to license up to 60 online sports betting sites, which almost certainly means that all top betting companies in the country will be present in Maryland. With such an overwhelming number of options, it may be difficult to single out several top ones. However, our battle-tested ranking methodology, which includes looking into odds, bonuses, and betting markets, allows us to reach a fair verdict and point you to the best sites.
Regulation and Licensing
The fairness of Maryland sports betting sites and the safety of your data are our top concerns. For that reason, we’ve steered clear from offshore gambling sites with questionable business practices. All of our picks are regulated by the State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, which means that as long as you are of legal drinking age in Maryland, which is 21 or older, you can engage in both land-based and online sports wagering.
Technically, you could still register on offshore gambling platforms hoping to claim those seemingly more lucrative bonuses and promotions. Even though the state authorities deem them illegal, there probably won’t be any severe repercussions. However, playing on these sites entails a risk of being scammed and having your winnings withheld on false pretenses. With legal and certified MD sports betting platforms, your money is always secure, as they employ the latest encryption methods to protect your info and transactions.
Sports and Betting Markets
If you are hoping to put a couple of bucks down on the Baltimore Ravens or the Washington Football Team, Maryland sports betting online sites should be your destination of choice. Apart from wagering on the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and all other major league sports in the country, you can expect the sites to offer hundreds of markets for soccer, tennis, MMA, and any other popular sports and competitions from around the globe.
Bonuses and Promotions
Most bettors from the Old Line State look for operators with generous bonuses and promotions. There’s no argument there. Most sportsbooks offer welcome deposit bonuses, free bets, especially in their risk-free form, and many other types of promotions. Yet, not all bonuses are created equal. This is where our analysis can prove invaluable to your selection process, especially if bonuses are your thing. We evaluate the bonus’ terms and conditions to ensure they are user-friendly and that you can win real money from them.
Betting Odds and Lines
The quality of betting odds and lines is what makes or breaks a sportsbook, no matter how big it is at the moment. We have run a complete analysis of the odds MD online sportsbooks offer for all major sports so that you wouldn’t have to. Of course, there are slight differences among top sites when it comes to specific events. With that in mind, you can always register to multiple Maryland online betting sites so that you can explore the best odds for a given sport or match.
Mobile Betting Apps
The way a mobile app responds and feels is essential when betting on the go. Most Maryland players want their betting apps to work without glitches and bugs on both Android and iOS devices. Plus, they should have all the same features as the desktop versions of the site. We understand this sentiment entirely, and this is why the apps are the focal point of our analysis of Maryland sports betting sites.
There isn’t a seamless betting experience without stable and secure banking options. We look into the number of different deposit and withdrawal methods MD online betting sites support, as well as their transaction speeds, fees, and the imposed limits to help us reach a verdict. We would hate to see you pay high fees and wait forever for your withdrawals, so sites with that kind of business practice are not found here.
The customer support team is going to be your lifeline when you encounter an issue while betting. Top Maryland online sports betting sites provide round-the-clock support manned by experienced individuals who know their way around the industry, not just their own site. What’s more, they offer multiple communication channels that include live chat, email, phone, among others.
Brief History of Gambling in Maryland
Maryland has had a love-hate relationship with gambling throughout its history. Nevertheless, it seems that the connection has managed to bloom into something wonderful with the most recent legalization of sports betting. But, first things first, let’s have a look at its tumultuous past.
We can trace the beginnings of gambling in the state to the 19th century when pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing became legal and was placed under the jurisdiction of the Racing Commission.
The period between 1910 and 1958 marked a real boom in the development of legal gambling in Maryland. Namely, while most American communities were banning it completely, Anne Arundel County legalized slots in 1943, as did Calvert and St.Mary’s Counties in 1947, and Charles and Prince George’s Counties in 1949. By 1958, three of the largest US slots manufacturers moved from Chicago to Maryland, marking the area as the star of the gambling show, right after Nevada.
The wave of legalization that had swept the state led to the 1972 referendum where the Maryland voters cast ballots to approve a constitutional amendment to launch a government-managed lottery. The first Maryland lottery tickets were purchased in 1973, and soon after, lotteries such as Pick 3, Pick 4, and Keno Bonus became widely available to Marylanders.
Casino-style gambling got a significant boost in 2008 when the people voted to support the Maryland Slot Machines Amendment, which brought Video Lottery Terminals to the racetracks and other locations throughout the state, all with the purpose of funding education in public schools, capital projects, and other industries. VLTs revitalized the sluggish horse racing industry, and the revenue accounted for the creation of 28,000 new jobs.
In 2012, the State Lottery Agency reformed its name to the State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency to match the new responsibilities of legal usa casino sites. This was approved by yet another referendum held that same year, which led to the establishment of a sixth casino in Prince George’s County, the introduction of table games at casinos, and non-stop gaming state-wide.
The responsibilities of the Agency expanded once again when the voters approved sports betting in a general election ballot measure held in November 2020. The legislator promptly took action to create the regulations surrounding Maryland sports betting, and so Bill HB 940 was created. Governor Larry Hogan signed the bill into law on May 18, 2021, which effectively paved the way for all forms of sports betting in the state.
Sports Betting in Maryland: Timeline
The road leading to legal MD sports betting was a long and bumpy one, but we are finally there. Ever since the November 2020 vote to legalize sports betting, things have been moving in the right direction. First, the retail sportsbooks in land-based casinos and VLT locations throughout the state saw the light of day, and online sportsbooks are not far behind either. Here are some of the highlights of that journey:
- November 2020: Voters approve the Sports Betting Expansion Measure during a November 2020 referendum, prompting legislators to draft the new rules and legal framework.
- April 2021: Legislators come up with House Bill 940 that establishes and implements sports wagering in the state.
- May 2021: Governor Larry Hogan signs the bill into law.
- May 2021: HB 940 creates the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) to specify the procedures of awarding licenses to operators.
- November 2021: SWARC and The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission award the first five retail sportsbook licenses.
- December 2021: BetMGM Sportsbook at MGM National Harbor opens and accepts the first bet from Governor Hogan.
January 2022: The launch of Maryland sports betting online is still in the discussion phase with no clear timeline.
Sports Betting in Maryland: License and Tax Information
The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) has established the requirements according to which sports betting licenses are going to be awarded. For starters, there are several classes of licenses, and each of these can be awarded to an operator that meets specific requirements. Here’s how it all works:
- Class A-1: Eligible applicants are casino operators with over 1,000 VLTs, stadium owners in Prince George’s County used primarily for NFL football, the NFL or MLB franchises that lease stadiums in Baltimore City, owners of professional hockey, soccer, and other teams.
- Class A-2: Eligible candidates are casinos with 1,000 or fewer VLTs and operators who already hold a horse racing license, such as the Maryland Jockey Club.
- Class B-1: Horse racing, simulcast betting, and commercial bingo companies with more than 25 full-time employees and $3 million in revenue qualify for this license.
- Class B-2: These operators need to have fewer than 25 full-time employees and less than $3 million in revenue.
Before receiving a license, potential Maryland sports betting operators need to pay nonrefundable fees. For the Class A-1 and A-2 licenses, these fees are set at $2 million and $1 million. As for the Class B-1 and B-2 licenses, the bill is capped at $250,000 and $50,000, respectively. Operators looking to run online sports betting in Maryland will need to pay a $500,000 nonrefundable fee to SWARC.
The annual tax rate for sports betting is 15% of the operator’s GGR. Sports betting licenses in Maryland are issued with a 5-year term, after which SWARC and the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission must renew the license if the operator complies with all the regulatory measures and has paid a 1% renewal fee that applies to the proceeds generated during the preceding three years.
As for the taxes players need to pay on their winnings, they are automatically withheld at an 8.75% rate for residents and a 7% rate for non-residents if their winnings exceed $5,000.
How to Get Started in a Maryland Online Sportsbook
It is safe to assume that all MD online betting sites will go with the tried and tested method of processing player registrations. If you have never completed one, here’s the entire procedure, step by step.
- Visit the online sportsbook or download the native app. If you want to bet using your desktop device, you only need to visit the sportsbook’s web page and join the site. If you want to download the native app for your Android or iOS device, look for the download links in the footer of the sportsbook’s homepage.
- Register an account. Clicking on the Join Now or Register button located at the top corner of the page will initiate the registration procedure. The process requires you to enter personal information, such as legal name, date of birth, address, phone number, email, an account username, the last four digits of your Social Security Number, and any bonus codes that you might have.
- Deposit the funds into your playing account. Under the Deposit section of your account, you can discover plenty of banking methods that you can use to wire some money into your playing accounts, such as credit or debit cards, cash at the casino cage, prepaid cards, PayNearMe, online banking methods, e-checks, and e-wallets. Choose the amount you wish to deposit, and once you complete the transaction, your funds should arrive momentarily.
- Claim the welcome bonus. Most Maryland sportsbooks will regularly offer free bets, deposit match deals, and other sign-up promos for new users, so check out the Promotions tab and see what kind of bonuses you can claim.
Place your bets. Now that you have funded your account, you can explore pregame and live betting markets on a variety of sports and place your bets.
Eligibility and Geolocation
MD sports betting sites and apps use special geolocation software to make sure you are within that state’s borders at the moment of betting. The legal betting age for sports betting in Maryland is 21. What’s more, athletes, coaches, referees, directors, and employees of the sports governing body are not allowed to engage in sports wagering.
Maryland Sports Betting Partnerships With Professional Teams
Maryland is home to two NFL teams — the Baltimore Ravens playing in Baltimore and the Washington Football Team from Prince George’s County. There are also the Baltimore Orioles, an MLB team that competes in the Eastern Division of the American League. These teams are already targeted by the biggest sports betting companies for possible partnership deals, and some lucrative deals have already been signed.
- Baltimore Ravens team up with BetMGM — The Ravens signed a multi-year partnership deal with BetMGM in May 2021. The deal will give BetMGM access to Ravens’ digital and social platforms, so its signage will be visible on all of those platforms, as well as M&T Bank Stadium, where the operator will have an official suite.
- Baltimore Ravens and DraftKings — DraftKings are the second betting company to sign a partnership deal with the Baltimore Ravens. As a result, DraftKings branding will be seen at M&T Bank Stadium and heard in the team’s podcast called “The Lounge.”
Baltimore Ravens ink a deal with the Caesars Sportsbook — The Ravens signed a five-year deal with the Caesars Sportsbook to include it as the official betting partner. Caesars will receive branding rights for M&T Bank Stadium as well as naming rights to the team’s digital pre-game show and the NFL Draft coverage, among other things.
What Types of Bets Can I Make in Maryland
MD sports betting online sites and apps are jam-packed with betting options that range from the classic moneyline wagers to the most exotic bets and parlays. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular bets you can find in MD sportsbooks:
- Moneyline: Moneyline bets are the ABCs of sports wagering. All you need to do is choose the winner of the fixture, and that’s it. When you see odds starting with a negative sign, such as -120, it means you see the odds for the favorite. In this particular case, you’ll need to bet $120 to win $100. On the other hand, a plus sign in front of the odds will signal the underdog of the match. For example, if the odds are +150, you will earn $150 for a $100 bet if the underdog manages to emerge the victor.
- Point spread: The spread in bookmaker terms refers to the points margin that you have to factor in when betting on a team’s victory. More specifically, bookies give a point spread that favorites need to cover for this bet to be a winning one. Say the Ravens are hosting the Patriots, and as the favorites, their point spread is -4.5. This means they need to win by five or more points to cover the spread. As for the point spread for the underdog, it is represented by a plus sign and the number of points. In the above example, the Patriots can have a +4.5 margin, which means this bet is good if they win or lose by less than four points.
- Totals: Totals are bets where you place a wager on the number of points in a game. The bookmaker will give a prediction, and your job is to choose to bet either “under” or “over” that score. The combined score of both teams is taken into consideration with this one.
- Props: Proposition wagers, or props, are bets that relate to a number of specific situations in the game, such as which player serves first in a tennis match, if Nikola Jokic scores a triple-double in the next game, how many touchdowns there will be, and the like.
- Futures: Futures are bets you place on specific outcomes of matches or entire competitions that are set to take place in the near or distant future. For example, you can bet on which team wins the Super Bowl or the NBA championship or who will be the next MVP of the NFL. The sooner you place a futures bet, the better the odds, and consequently, the payouts will be higher.
- Multiple bets: Multiple bets refer to wagers such as parlays, teasers, and round robins, where you join multiple selections into a single pool of wagers. You have to get all the selections on the betslip right to get the payout. Same-game parlays are also available in MD sports betting sites.
Live bets: The name is pretty self-explanatory. These are wagers you place on the ongoing sporting events. The odds for these events are updated in real-time to reflect the situation on the court or pitch. Speed is of the essence here — whenever you see an opportunity, make sure to seize it because the very next moment, the odds/lines may shift.
Are Any Bets Off-Limits?
Unlike other states that impose strict restrictions on the sports and events you can wager on, Maryland has only limited betting on high school events. This means you can bet on college and professional sporting events, even if they include teams from Maryland.
Naturally, you will have to be at least 21 and physically located in Maryland to enjoy sports betting.
Responsible Gambling in Maryland
SWARC and the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission demand that all operators abide by strict responsible gambling rules to prevent problem gambling. All MD sports betting operators have responsible gambling policies and tools, such as questionnaires, deposit limits, and others to prevent compulsive gamblers from getting into more trouble. Also, a portion of the proceeds from sports betting operators goes into the Problem Gambling Fund with the Maryland Department of Health to help those struggling to contain their gambling urges.
MARYLAND SPORTS BETTING
Is sports betting legal in Maryland?
Yes, it is. Sports betting has been officially legal since 2021, and the first retail sportsbooks were opened in December 2021.
Who regulates sports betting in Maryland?
All gambling activities in the state, including sports betting, fall under the jurisdiction of the Gaming and Regulatory Oversight Division of the State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.
What is the minimum age for placing a bet in Maryland?
The legal gambling age for betting on sports in Maryland is 21, just like in most other US states.
Are Maryland betting sites safe?
All Maryland betting sites and apps regulated and licensed by the State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency are considered completely safe. They employ the latest security measures to safeguard all player data and transactions.
Do I need to be a Maryland resident to bet with MD sportsbooks?
No, you don’t have to be a resident. You only have to be of legal gambling age and physically present in the state at the moment of betting.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do MD betting sites have any bonuses and promotions?
The majority of MD sportsbooks run elaborate bonus schemes to attract new players and retain the existing ones, such as free bets, deposit match deals, no deposit free bets, and the like.
Do I need to register in-person to bet online?
No, you don’t. You can complete the signup procedure online.
Do MD sportsbooks have apps?
Absolutely. Since all MD betting sites are run by the industry’s biggest names, all of them have proprietary apps for Android and iOS devices.
Does Maryland have retail sportsbooks?
Certainly, there are plenty of land-based casinos and facilities with licenses to offer retail sports betting.
How quickly can I cash out my winnings from an MD sportsbook?
The payout speed depends on the payment method and the status of your account. It can take up to 48 hours for the sportsbook to process your request and another 1–5 business days to complete the transaction.