What Comes Next for Maryland Sports Betting?
Jonathan Newton /The Washington Post via Getty Images. Pictured: The Maryland State House
Maryland’s legislature passed a sweeping online sports betting and in-stadium sportsbook wagering bill Monday. Here’s everything bettors need to know about one of the nation’s newest legal sports betting markets.
When Can I Bet in Maryland?
Maryland officials hope to launch their first online and retail sportsbooks by Sept. 1, 2021 — ahead of the first games of this year’s NFL season.
Though sports betting has technically been legalized by legislatures in each state, there are still multiple steps officials must clear before betting can begin.
Gov. Larry Hogan must first sign the General Assembly’s bill, which should come as early as this week. Then state gaming regulators must set rules for all sportsbooks seeking to operate in the state and then license them before they can go live.
This process has taken between three and 18 months in other states. Maryland officials have prepared for a relatively quick process, leading stakeholders, policymakers and bettors at large optimistic of a launch ahead of football season, perennially sportsbooks’ most lucrative time of the year.
Where Can I Bet in Maryland?
Maryland’s 2021 law will allow statewide mobile wagering for 60 online sportsbooks and retail sports betting at casinos, professional sports stadiums and 30 or more additional brick-and-mortar facilities.
The state’s six casinos will all be able to open online and retail sportsbooks. The state’s three major professional sports venues will also be able to open online and retail sportsbooks:
- FedEx Field in Landover (NFL’s Washington Football Team)
- M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore (NFL’s Baltimore Ravens)
- Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore (MLB’s Baltimore Orioles)
Maryland’s sports betting bill also permits a wide range of additional gaming and non-gaming entities to open online and retail sportsbooks. It remains to be seen how many of the 60 online licenses and 30 additional retail licenses will be taken, but more than a dozen Maryland gaming interests and small business owners said they would pursue such an opportunity during legislative hearings earlier this year.
Do I Have to Register in Person?
No, bettors can sign up for any legal online Maryland sportsbook remotely without having to register at one of the retail betting facilities first.
Which Sportsbooks Will Go Live in Maryland?
It’s too early to tell this early in the process, but Maryland’s 60 eligible online licenses — the highest set total of any state — means virtually any sportsbook operator interested in the Old Line State will be able to apply.
DraftKings and FanDuel already publicly lauded Maryland’s sports betting bill and are highly likely to be among the first to go live. Other major sportsbook brands such as BetMGM, PointsBet, BetRivers and Caesars/William Hill will also likely apply.
Barstool Sports, which has a strong Northeastern presence, is owned by Penn National, which operates a Maryland commercial casino. Churchill Downs also operates a Maryland gaming facility and will likely launch its TwinSpires sportsbook in the state as well.
This is far from an exhaustive list. Larger brands overseas such as 888 and bet365 could presumably expand into Maryland. Parx, Circa Sports, WynnBet and literally dozens of others will likely also consider Maryland launches.
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