Maryland Sports Betting: Everything You Need to Know

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Matt Tenby
Matt has been a writer for American Betting Experts since 2019. He loves to watch, bet on and write about soccer but is also a huge NBA and NFL fan.

Everything you need to know about Maryland sports betting online and how you will be able to profit from the sportsbooks when official launch day comes.

Maryland is set to become the next US state to legalize online sports betting, with the official launch expected to come by fall 2021. At americanbettingexperts.com, we have compiled all of the necessary information that you, as a Maryland resident, will need.

We will take you through the latest updates regarding Maryland sports betting, what you can expect from the passing of the bill, how the Maryland sports betting landscape will look and, most importantly, how you will be able to profit from the online sportsbooks when official launch day comes.

A Look at the Maryland Sports Betting Scene

Interestingly, Maryland is one of the few US states to go from allowing gambling to banning it, and is now in the process of re-introducing it. Legal gambling practice in Maryland once involved legal slots betting before it was banned in 1968. A 2008 state referendum brought legal slots wagering back to the Old Line State, closely followed by a 2012 referendum which legalized table games at Maryland casinos.

The huge swing in the American sports betting industry came when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned in May 2018. As a result, each US state had the opportunity to create its own unique laws and regulations for sports betting. 

States such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania have experienced major financial returns following their rapid legalization of sports betting after the overturning of PASPA. Now, Maryland wants a piece of the pie. The state passed Bill SB 4 to hold a referendum vote on sports betting in November 2020 during the US election which received overwhelming support. As a result, Maryland’s dream of becoming a sports betting state took a major step towards becoming a reality.

On April 12, 2021, HB 940 was passed through the Maryland state legislature. Fast forward just one month and on May 18, 2021 Gov. Larry Hogan signed HB 940 into law. This marked the final step for Maryland towards becoming a legal sports betting state. HB 940 is expected to be enacted on June 1, 2021, with Maryland sports betting officially launching in time for the 2021 NFL season this fall.

Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature makes Maryland the fifth state to pass legal sports wagering in 2021 – after South Dakota, Wyoming, New York and Arizona. The 2021 law also allows the state’s major professional sports stadiums to open sportsbooks, which is a very exciting concept for fans of the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles and those visiting the stadiums from other states. Maryland’s sports betting bill also includes licenses set aside for Laurel Park, Pimlico Racecourse, the state fairgrounds, some minor league stadiums, sports bars and even smaller, locally-owned businesses. Sports betting is set to take over Maryland!

What You Can Expect from the Passing of the Maryland Sports Betting Bill

Here are some things to expect from the passing of the Maryland sports betting bill based on evidence from other legal sports betting states. The wheels are already in motion in Maryland.

Sports betting partnerships galore

Based on data from other sports betting states, there is absolutely no doubt that sports teams and sports venues in Maryland will be quick to strike lucrative multi-year partnerships with sportsbooks that are launching in the Old Line State.

With months to go until the expected launch, sportsbooks have already made tracks by developing partnerships with Maryland’s major sports franchises and organizations. Most recently, BetMGM struck a multi-year partnership deal with the Baltimore Ravens and became the team’s first ever Official Gaming Partner. The partnership will see BetMGM branded signage being present throughout M&T Bank Stadium, digital media and integrated social media content.

maryland sports betting

Expect to see loads more partnership deals being announced in the coming months as Maryland prepares for its well-awaited sports betting launch. These partnership deals are vital for the sportsbooks as they help to build brand recognition and power within Maryland. By striking a deal early with a sports team or venue in Maryland, you will begin to familiarize yourself with the operators early on and are much more likely to make them your sportsbook of choice once everything goes live.

The following professional sports teams are located in or near Maryland are will most likely secure multi-year partnership deals with the major US sportsbook brands as a result:

  • Baltimore Ravens (NFL)
  • Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
  • D.C. United (MLS)
  • Washington Capitals (NHL)
  • Washington Football Team (NFL)
  • Washington Nationals (MLB)
  • Washington Wizards (NBA)

The presence of multi-year sportsbook partnerships in Maryland will also assist in promoting sports betting as an industry in the Old Line State. A stronger sports betting focus in Maryland sport will undoubtedly increase the uptake of sports bettors in-state. If states like Colorado and Michigan are anything to go by, expect to see the sports betting industry integrate rapidly with the Maryland sports scene.

Fully remote registration

The sports betting bill that was recently passed in Maryland allows fully remote registration. This means that anyone who wishes to register for a new online sportsbook account once sports betting is legalized in Maryland will not be required to sign up or verify their account in person.

The benefits of fully remote registration in legal sports betting states cannot be underestimated. Currently, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada and Rhode Island are the only legal sports betting states which require in-person registration. Taking a look at the sports betting figures in these states, in-person registration has been a barrier to those who are unable to visit their local brick-and-mortar sportsbook or are simply too far away from one to warrant a visit. Consequently, these states lag behind the likes of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan in sports betting revenue figures.

Luckily, in-person registration is not required in Maryland. As a Maryland sports bettor you will be able to register new sportsbook accounts from the comfort of your own home, while riding the bus, or even while at work. The introduction of fully remote registration is super convenient and will definitely make people more likely to sign up to an online sportsbook when the opportunity arises. 

Awesome pre-launch offers

As a Maryland sports bettor, the introduction of pre-launch sportsbook offers will be the most exciting time for you between now and the official sports betting launch. 

Home to over six million people and an extremely loyal sports fanbase, Maryland is expected to be one of the most competitive sports betting markets in America. Michigan, another state with a loyal and committed sports fanbase, legalized sports betting in January 2021. It is helpful to take a look at what happened recently in the run-up to Michigan’s official launch with regards to pre-launch offers.

Around three weeks prior to Michigan sports betting going live, major sportsbook brands like BetMGM, DraftKings and William Hill began to promote their juicy pre-launch offers to Michiganders. These pre-launch offers were extremely generous, giving prospective sports bettors an incentive to open new sportsbook accounts while simultaneously allowing the sportsbooks to generate market share in the Wolverine State. Below are just a couple of examples of the pre-launch offers that Michigan residents were able to claim at the legal online sportsbooks prior to the official launch of sports betting in the state.

These pre-launch offers seem too good to be true, right? In reality, the sportsbooks in Michigan were so keen to ensure that they acquired new customers in time for launch day that they were literally giving away free money. The passing of the Maryland sports betting bill means you should expect a similar thing to happen in the Old Line State. There will be ample opportunity to take advantage of incredible pre-launch offers very similar to those offered in Michigan back in late-2020 and early-2021.

What Will the Maryland Sports Betting Landscape Look Like?

With a combination of knowledge surrounding the Maryland sports betting bill and information taken from states which have previously gone through the sports betting legalization process, we at americanbettingexperts.com are able to give you a detailed insight into what the Maryland sports betting landscape is expected to look like.

Highly competitive market

The Maryland sports betting bill makes room for as many as 60 online sportsbooks in the Old Line State. This is a colossal number and is the highest cap of any jurisdiction in the United States. If the number of online sportsbook licenses does reach 60, Maryland would be home to nearly triple the number of online sports betting destinations in New Jersey (the current national leader in average monthly betting handle).

A state with 60 online sports betting licenses is almost too much to comprehend and it could be years until Maryland reaches this cap. However, the state’s market potential is so high that we shouldn’t underestimate just how quickly Maryland’s sports betting industry could grow. With multiple professional sports teams, the nation’s highest median household income and neighbouring states where sports betting operators are currently thriving, expect plenty of sportsbook operators to launch in Maryland from the word go.

Many experts in the industry are backing Maryland to become one of the biggest sports betting states. A high level of competitiveness between the big sportsbook brands in the state is bound to fuel the fire.

More brick-and-mortar sportsbooks than any other US state?

Maryland state officials announced that the passed sports betting bill will have a focus on helping family-owned and female-owned businesses. As a result, Maryland will award a sports betting license to any business that can afford the state’s licensing fees and pass a review from the Maryland State Lottery & Gaming Control Agency. 

With a focus on assisting smaller fish in a large pond, Maryland could have more brick-and-mortar sportsbooks than virtually any other state out-with Nevada. Furthermore, Maryland will be among the first to award physical sports betting licenses to non-casino or gaming properties. The Maryland sports betting landscape will certainly be unique. 

Industry-leading sportsbook brands will make an instant impact

As previously mentioned, all of the sportsbook heavyweights will be keen to ensure that they get going as early as possible in Maryland. Through constant online promotion and almost unthinkable pre-launch welcome offers, there is no doubt that Maryland residents will be jumping straight into the sports betting scene.

Some of the state’s six commercial casinos have already secured partnerships for retail and online sportsbook launches by this fall. Announced or likely sportsbook partners include BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, TwinSpires, William Hill and Barstool Sportsbook. Here is a list of all entities in Maryland, including the six commercial casinos, that will have a sportsbook license when sports betting launches:

  • Baltimore Ravens (NFL)
  • Washington Football Team (NFL)
  • Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
  • Pimlico Racetrack
  • Laurel Park Racetrack
  • Maryland State Fairgrounds
  • Timonium Off Track Betting
  • Rocky Gap Casino
  • MGM National Harbor
  • Horseshoe Baltimore
  • Hollywood Casino Perryville
  • Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland
  • Ocean Downs Casino

With these entities in mind, here are the sportsbooks that we expect to be present on day one of Maryland sports betting.

BetMGM:

Currently active in nine US states, BetMGM is one of the biggest casino and sports betting brands in America. The brand recently secured a multi-year partnership with the Baltimore Ravens and Maryland’s most popular casino, MGM National Harbor, is owned by BetMGM.

MGM National Harbor is expected to be home to a BetMGM brick-and-mortar sportsbook, with BetMGM becoming the Ravens’ online ‘skin’. We would be very surprised if BetMGM is not present, both physically and online, come launch day in the Old Line State.

FanDuel:

FanDuel is always a certainty to launch in a new sports betting state from day one. The Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) giant has also become a sports betting market leader in previous years.

FanDuel has retail sportsbooks in 10 states, with eight of these states allowing mobile sports betting. The brand struck a deal with Live! Casino & Hotel in Philadelphia, so it is expected that it will also secure a partnership with Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland.

William Hill/Caesars:

Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore is owned by Caesars Entertainment, which recently acquired William Hill. Therefore, if Horseshoe Casino is planning on opening its own sportsbook, the only two logical outcomes would be to open a William Hill Sportsbook or a Caesars Sportsbook. 

The merger between Caesars and William Hill is expected to be completed by 2021. One of the two brands will presumably receive the Horseshoe ‘skin’. Caesars already offers mobile sports betting in four states and retail sportsbooks in eight states. William Hill currently has retail sportsbooks in 11 states and its online product extends to New Jersey, Colorado, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

If it doesn’t happen through Horseshoe Casino, William Hill will likely enter the Maryland sports betting scene via Rock Gap Casino Resort.

BetAmerica/BetRivers:

Ocean Downs Casino owner Churchill Downs is expected to use its BetAmerica brand for its digital and brick-and-mortar sportsbook skins. The brand already operates in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana, so setting up in Maryland would be the next logical step. 

Churchill Downs also has ties to Rush Street Gaming (Illinois), which owns the BetRivers brand. BetRivers has performed better than BetAmerica in the sports betting space and may well be the branding option to go for in Maryland as a result. 

PointsBet:

It is unclear as to how PointsBet will enter the Maryland sports betting market, but it is pretty certain that they will be present from day one. PointsBet is now partnered with NBC Sports and has been extremely aggressive with its spending in recent years. The high spending is expected to increase as states with high profit potential like Maryland continue to enter the American sports betting landscape.

Barstool Sportsbook:

Owned by Penn National Gaming, Barstool Sportsbook is expected to expand into Maryland when sports betting goes live. Gaming and Leisure Properties, a real estate investment trust tied to Penn National, owns Hollywood Casino Perryville and would therefore be the perfect retail location for Barstool Sportsbook. Furthermore, Hollywood Casino Perryville is located just a few miles from the Maryland-Pennsylvania border. This makes it the most logical home for Barstool’s retail and digital sportsbook.

DraftKings:

Often branded as the number 1 sportsbook in America, DraftKings will find a way to enter the Maryland sports betting market. However, unlike the sportsbooks mentioned above, DraftKings has no clear gambling affiliation to any of the Maryland casinos and so Maryland State Fairgrounds could be the way to go. State Fair representatives would undoubtedly welcome DraftKings with open arms if it were to offer a partnership deal in order to enter the Maryland sports betting scene. 

These are just some of the major sportsbooks that we are expecting to see when Maryland finally opens its doors to sports betting. Other sportsbook brands that we anticipate seeing on day one include the likes of FOXBet and TwinSpires.

Lots of state-specific offers relevant to Maryland sports

One piece of knowledge that we can take from other legal sports betting states is that the online sportsbooks always try to offer state-specific offers to their customers. This keeps bettors in the state excited and gripped by sports betting, thus making them more likely to place a wager on their favorite sports teams. 

Another positive of offering state-specific odds boosts and promotions is that it offers a new dimension to a sports bettors’ game-day experience. In more mature betting markets, like in Europe, sports betting is often considered an integral part of the overall game-day package. The United States is slowly heading that way, with a sports betting ever-present on television, online media and at stadiums. With state-specific offers relevant to you as a sports fan, this helps to add to your overall game-day experience.

Perhaps the best sportsbook currently for providing enticing state-specific offers is BetMGM. If you are in New Jersey on NFL Sunday, the featured odds boosts, enhanced parlays and enhanced odds specials will likely be centred around the Giants, the Jets and the Bills. Similarly, if you are in Pennsylvania then you will be offered state-specific promotions tailored to the Eagles and the Steelers. Check out the example below from BetMGM Pennsylvania, where there is obviously a high number of Philadelphia 76ers fans. 

There is no doubt that once sports betting goes live in Maryland the same rules will apply. Ravens and Orioles-related offers will be in your face from day one, giving you an even bigger incentive to open your very own sportsbook account and cheer your team (and your betslip) on!

How Will You Be Able to Profit from the Maryland Sports Betting Launch?

Here are a number of ways we expect you as a Maryland sports bettor to be able to profit from the launch of sports betting and beyond.

How to Profit as a New Customer

New customer welcome offers 

Due to the large number of operators expected to launch in the Old Line State, competition between sportsbook brands will be more intense than ever seen in any state previously. Operators will be desperate to have you on their books and as a result there will be some extremely good online new customer bonuses available to claim.

Here are the types of new customer welcome offers that we expect to see in Maryland once sports betting goes live:

  • $1000 Deposit Match at DraftKings Maryland – you will receive a Free Bet equalling 20% of the value of your first real money deposit, up to $1000.
  • $500 Free Bet at William Hill Maryland – you will receive a Free Bet equalling the value of your first sports bet if that first bet is a loser, up to $500.
  • $600 Risk Free Bet at BetMGM Maryland – you will receive a Free Bet equalling the value of your first sports bet if that first bet is a loser, up to $600.
  • $250 Deposit Match at BetRivers Maryland – you will receive a Free Bet equalling 100% of the value of your first real money deposit, up to $250.
  • Deposit $250 Get $500 at PointsBet Maryland – you will receive a Free Bet value based on the value of your first deposit, and if you deposit the $250 maximum then you will receive $250 extra to bet with.
  • $1000 Risk Free Bet at FanDuel Maryland – you will receive a Free Bet equalling the value of your first sports bet if that first bet is a loser, up to $1000. 

These offers may differ slightly in Michigan, but they are educated predictions based on what the major online sportsbooks offer in existing sports betting states. More sportsbooks are likely to enter the fray and promote even more awesome offers to you as a Maryland sports fan.

Pre-launch offers

As already mentioned, pre-launch offers are going to be the most enticing promotions available in Maryland at any time, ever. These pre-launch offers are designed to generate buzz around the official state launch and to attract prospective sports bettors in Maryland to open new sportsbook accounts in preparation for launch day.

Obviously, you will not be able to bet before the official launch of sports betting. The sportsbooks have worked around this barrier by giving you the chance to claim free money from them prior. All you have to do is register a new account with one of the fully-licensed Maryland sportsbook brands prior to the official launch and you will be credited with funds in your account to use when sports betting goes live. 

It’s a no brainer. Pre-launch offers are arguably the easiest way to profit from the Maryland sports betting launch. We predict that sportsbook pre-launch offers will begin to be pushed out six to eight weeks prior to Maryland’s official sports betting launch date.

New customer enhanced odds promotions

New customer enhanced odds promotions are not readily available like your usual new customer welcome offers are. However, when they are being promoted, you should definitely take advantage.

New customer enhanced odds promotions give you the chance to earn a tonne of free bets at a new online sportsbook by signing up and betting on a certain outcome. One of the most common new customer enhanced odds promotion is the ‘Bet $1, Win $100’ promotion. This one is commonly promoted at DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM. See below for an example. 

Expect to be greeted with awesome offers like ‘Bet $1, Win $100 if Baltimore Ravens score a point in Week 1’ and ‘Bet $1, Win $10 for every run recorded by the Orioles’ when Maryland enters the sports betting market…and take advantage!

How to Profit as an Existing Customer

Once you have taken advantage of the juicy new customer promotions expected to be available at the Maryland online sportsbooks, you can then begin to explore all of the awesome existing customer offers that are regularly running. Here are just some of the ways that you will be able to continue to make some easy cash as an existing sportsbook customer in Maryland.

Crowd Boosters

A ‘Crowd Booster’ is a pre-determined outcome which increases in odds or outcome depending on how many of the public bet on that outcome. The more momentum a selected bet gathers, the higher the odds become. See the example below from PointsBet Illinois during the 2020 NFL season.

For every 200 people that bet on Chicago to cover the spread, the better the odds became. By betting on a Crowd Booster, you will always get the final line no matter when you placed your bet. Crowd Boosters give bettors an incentive to bet on the sportsbook’s chosen bet, and often it results in very high winning potential for bettors. Expect to see these Crowd Boosters being promoted at the major online sportsbooks in Maryland once sports betting goes live.

Parlay Boosts and Profit Boosts

Every online sportsbook will give you the opportunity to bet on boosted parlays.  This could be a Parlay Boost token which you can apply to your very own parlay, or a boosted parlay that has been chosen by the sportsbook. Parlay Boosts may be sport-specific, or may be available on specific days of the week. Either way, be sure to keep an eye out for this type of promotion as it will increase your profit potential. 

Similarly, Profit Boosts can be applied to your bets on specific days of the week or as a reward on occasions. It works in the same way as Parlay Boosts – you will earn more from your winning bet than you otherwise would have in normal circumstances. Here are a couple of examples of Parlay Boosts and Profit Boosts which we believe will also be available in Maryland.

Day-specific Profit Boosts at BetRivers  
Parlay Boost at BetMGM

Weekly Free Bets

Some online sportsbooks will offer existing customers weekly free bets as a token gesture for being a part of the community. These weekly free bets are sometimes only available to claim if you wager a certain amount on sports bets in the previous week. In other instances, you may be gifted a weekly free bet from your online sportsbook simply due to loyalty.

For example, BetMGM Sportsbook gives its customers in all states a $10 free bet every Monday when you wager $50 or more in the previous week. If you wager $50 each week at BetMGM, you’ll receive $520 worth of free bets throughout the year!

Maryland Sports Betting FAQs

Can you bet on sports in Maryland?

You cannot bet on sports in Maryland yet, but on May 18, 2021 Gov. Larry Hogan signed HB 940 into law. HB 940 is expected to be enacted on June 1, 2021, with Maryland sports betting expected to launch in time for the new NFL season this fall.

When is the Maryland sports betting online launch?

The Maryland sports betting online launch will take place on the same day that sports betting goes live in the Old Line State. From day one of of legalized Maryland sports betting, you will be able to register your very own sportsbook account either in-person at the physical sportsbooks or at the online sportsbooks.

Who will get a Maryland sports betting license?

The Maryland sports betting bill will give up to 60 official sports betting licenses out to major US sportsbooks, land-based casinos, Maryland racetracks and even local businesses if they can pass as fit and proper license holders.

Where can I get the latest Maryland sports betting news?

You can get the latest Maryland sports betting news as it happens here at americanbettingexperts.com. Whether it is new additions to the official Maryland sports betting laws or new online sportsbook news in the state, we will be sure to cover it.

Can you take part in Maryland live sports betting?

When Maryland sports betting launches, the major online sportsbooks will definitely be offering live sports betting. This gives you the opportunity to wager on your favorite sports teams as they are playing. Live sports betting in Maryland will offer you a different dimension to your sports bets and adds more excitement to your wagering.

What is the legal minimum sports betting age in Maryland?

Maryland has not decided on a legal minimum sports betting age yet as regulations are still being considered. From looking at other legal sports betting states, we expect the Maryland minimum legal sports betting age to be 21 years old.

Which pro sports teams play in Maryland?

The Baltimore Ravens of the NFL and the Baltimore Orioles of the MLB are the two major pro sports teams from Maryland. Washington Football Team from the NFL, Washington Wizards (NBA), Washington Capitals (NHL) and Washington Nationals (MLB) are also all nearby. There are plenty of college teams too in Maryland.

There are expected to be no limitations on what college, professional, or international teams you can bet on in Maryland. This means that you will be able to bet on your favorite Maryland pro sports teams.

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