Sports betting is legal in the state of Maryland following a ballot measure that was approved by voters in the 2020 election. Following legislative efforts by the state’s lawmakers, Governor Larry Hogan was able to sign HB 940 into law in May 2021.
While the original plan was to have the legal framework in place for a September 2021 launch, delays have pushed that proposed launch date back a few months at the very least.
On July 15th 2021, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission approved a set of industry regulations which was then published in the Maryland Register to allow for a 30-day public comment period. The state also created the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission which met for the first time on August 16th 2021.
Who regulates to Maryland Sports Betting Industry?
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency will regulate the industry while the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission will handle all operator applications as well as the awarding of licenses.
Which sportsbooks are available in Maryland?
The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission met for the first time during August of 2021 and has yet to comment on the application process or potential applicants.
The application fee for retail sportsbook operators range anywhere from $50,000 for a B-2 license right up to $2 million for an A-1 license. There have been no clear indications as to what operators will enter the market but we do know that the state’s six casinos and three sporting venues that are home to the state’s professional sports teams will all be awarded sports betting licenses. Each team itself will also have its own license.
The following venues are guaranteed to receive a license should they apply for one:
- Baltimore Ravens (NFL)
- Washington Football Team (NFL)
- Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
- Pimlico Racetrack
- Laurel Park Racetrack
- Maryland State Fairgrounds
- Timonium OTB
- Rocky Gap Casino Resort
- MGM National Harbor
- Horseshoe Baltimore
- Hollywood Casino Perryville
- Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland
- Ocean Downs
Maryland mobile sports betting apps
The venues and teams listed above are also guaranteed a mobile sports betting license and will be in a position to either partner with a mobile sports betting operator or create their own self-branded online sportsbook in partnership with a tech provider.
The following online operators are expected to enter the market as result of existing agreements or partnerships with the state’s casinos or sporting venues.
- FOX Bet
- Barstool Sports
It’s worth noting that mobile sports betting license fees are different to those for retail sportsbooks. The initial application fee for a mobile license is $500,000 while the license fee is set at $1.5 million. A performance bond of $1.5 million is also required of each operator.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Maryland
In 2012, Maryland legislators passed a law that legalized daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests for cash prizes. It was one of the first states to do so and the regulated industry thrived. However, in 2017 legislators revisited the state’s DFS laws to offer more protections to customers and to further define the regulations for operators.
The rule changes included:
- An age limit of 18 for all DFS contests.
- A ban on college and amateur sports in DFS contests.
- A requirement that game operators clearly identify players that are highly experienced.
- Ban the use by players of third-party created anti-competitive “scripts”.
- Limit participants to a maximum of $1,000 in deposits per month unless they ask the operator to raise their limit.
- A ban on extending credit to players.
- A requirement that game operators hold player funds separate from company operating funds and to establish a reserve fund for prizes.
- A ban on minors, students and school or college settings in any advertisements.
- A requirement that operators remind players of their tax obligations.
There are now several licensed DFS operators in the state including FanDuel, Yahoo, and DraftKings among others.
What about online poker in Maryland?
There has been no legal efforts to establish a regulated online poker or casino market in the state of Maryland and no indication that any will come in the near future. Although that’s not to say that it won’t.
Until November 2020, very few people thought that the state would legalize sports betting but it did. Maryland was also one of the very first states to legislate for DFS contests. That said, lawmakers are quite busy right now ironing out the kinks prior to the state launching its sports betting industry so it may be some time before we see any poker-specific legislation introduced.
Maryland sports betting frequently asked questions
Is sports betting legal in Maryland?
Yes, sports betting is legal and expected to launch in late 2021.
Is mobile sports betting legal in Maryland?
Yes, mobile sports betting is legal in Maryland with each casino, racetrack and sporting organization allowed to launch one mobile skin.
What is the legal age for sports betting in Maryland?
The legal age for sports betting in Maryland is 21 or older.
Can I use a Maryland mobile sports betting app outside the state?
No, you must be physically located in the state to use a Maryland sports betting app.