Maryland SportsBook and Online Casino News

Your Legal MD Betting Options in 2020

Although there is currently no legal Maryland sports betting as of yet, all eyes are on the state to potentially be the next state to create a legal sports betting market. Until then, locals and visitors are able to bet on a number of great betting options. It’s no wonder why they call it ‘the Free State’.

We believe that it’s in the best interest of our readers to only recommend licensed online bookmakers, so you will not find recommendations for offshore betting sites here. Instead, we’ve focused on available gambling options you can trust, and offered an insight into when sports betting will come to Maryland.

What Betting Options are Legal for Maryland Residents

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Since the state’s voters decided to legalize casino gambling in 2008, Maryland has had its foot on the accelerator when it comes to gambling expansion. Not only does Maryland offer slot machines and table games, but it also offers the lottery, pari-mutuel wagering, and daily fantasy sports.

Is Daily Fantasy Legal in Maryland?

Perhaps the closest thing to legal online sports betting in Maryland is daily fantasy sports (DFS). DFS was officially legalized in the state in 2012, and current operators available in the state include DraftKings and FanDuel, who many readers will know and love as reputable sports betting sites.

When DFS was made legal in the state, Maryland’s lawmakers were praised for creating a fair system for both operators and players. The laws ensured that no registration fees were necessary to offer sportsbooks, and also saw that players coil sign up for an account provided they were over 18 years old.

Are there Legal Offshore Sites for Maryland Players

There are currently no legal offshore betting sites available in Maryland. However, there has yet to be a MD player charged for signing up and using offshore betting sites to gamble, even though they are technically breaking the law. This isn’t to say it’s a good idea, though.

As offshore bookmakers such as Bovada and BetOnline are not legal websites, they aren’t exactly trustworthy. In order for a site to be a Maryland legal online sportsbook, it would need to be licensed in the state. This would ensure that players’ funds are always safe and odds are fair.

Casinos

Although legal Maryland casino gambling has only been around since 2008, the state offers some world-class gaming establishments that are comparable to those offered in Vegas. This is because Las Vegas gaming operators Caesar’s and MGM are both represented by the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore and MGM National Harbor respectively.

In addition to those casinos, there is also the Live Casino & Hotel in Hanover, the Hollywood Casino in Perryville, the Rocky Gap in Cumberland, and Ocean Downs Casino. Here, players can enjoy everything from slot machines to table games including roulette, craps, baccarat, blackjack, and poker.

Racetrack Betting

Maryland is one of the undisputed homes of horse racing in the United States. There are a total of five horse racing tracks in the state, with the best known of these being the Pimlico racecourse. Every year, Pimlico hosts the Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Another form of legal Maryland online gambling, mobile betting on horse racing is legal in Maryland. There are also a number of off-track betting parlors that accept bets for inter-state and international horse races, making Maryland one of the best horse race betting destinations in the country.

Card Rooms

Maryland is home to four poker rooms. They can be found at the Hollywood Casino in Perryville, the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, the MGM National Harbor, and the Maryland Live! Casino. All-day round, a variety of tournaments and games can be found at these popular establishments.

The Maryland Live! is by far the largest poker room in the state. The room offers more than 50 tables in an elegant setting and is frequented by many well-known poker champions. Expect a full selection of games including Limit Hold’Em, No-Limit Hold’Em, Pot-Limit Omaha, and much more.

Nearby States with Legal Sports Betting

Until there is legal online sports betting in Maryland and a trusted sportsbook is available, locals are free to travel to nearby states that offer legal sports betting options. Thankfully, Maryland is in an extremely privileged position as it is bordered by some of the best states for sports betting in the country.

Below, we’ve provided links to a number of these legal betting sites, some of which you’ll see even allow for mobile betting. This means that players could simply cross the border to bet without having to set foot inside a casino.

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Delaware

What would Legal Sports Betting in Maryland Look Like

If the current bill seeking to allow for legal sports betting in Maryland is approved by voters, Maryland is set to offer a comprehensive sports betting product to customers. This will allow both in-person and online sports betting options at the state’s six casinos and potential partnership with the Washington Redskins.

Despite the popularity of the measure, if the bill passes it will still likely take up to six months to launch sports betting in Maryland. This is because a number of factors will need to be determined by regulators, including how much taxes will need to be paid and other issues around licensing.

It is important for sports betting to be tightly regulated as it ensures that untrustworthy operators can not exploit gamblers. It is the role of gambling control boards to decide and enforce everything from how fair odds need to be, the minimum age requirements, and how problem gamblers can be protected.

In the case that sports betting is legalized, Marylanders will be able to bet on everything from major sports leagues to college division sports. This means that local fans can engage more with the games of the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles and Washington Redskins through wagers and prop bets.

What are the Maryland Gambling Laws

Maryland has had an interesting relationship with gambling. In 1870, the historic Pimlico horse racing track opened in the state. The track is now the second-oldest in the country and is symbolic of the enduring popularity of horse race betting in the United States.

In 1943, Maryland legalized slot machines for the first time, though they quickly changed course in 1963 and phased the machines out. In 1973, the state launched its lottery to help fund state programs. Since then, the Maryland Lottery has raised more than $16 billion.

Huge strides in Maryland gambling laws began in 2008 when voters approved a referendum to allow casino-style gambling. Two years later, Hollywood Casino became the first casino in the state to open. Two years after that, daily fantasy sports was officially legalized. All gambling is regulated by one agency, the Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

Betting Type Law
Sports Betting Not Legal
Online Sports Betting Not Legal
Online Casino Not Legal
Poker Legal
Racetrack Betting Legal
Maryland Gambling Age 18+ for Lotto, DFS, Horse Racing, 21+ for Casinos

As shown, online casino betting and Maryland sports betting is illegal, though this could change if the referendum is successful in November 2020. For now, legal Maryland online gambling is limited to daily fantasy sports and pari-mutuel wagering on horse races. Poker is also legal and highly popular.

There are two minimum gambling ages depending on what kind of gambling activities are being played. To participate in the lottery, in DFS or horse racing, players must be over the age of 18 in Maryland. To gamble on slot machines and on table games, players must be over 21 years old.

What is the Future of Sports Betting in Maryland?

More than any other potentialstate with legal sports betting, the future for Maryland sports betting looks bright. There is massive support for both in-person and legal online sports betting in Maryland, which is perhaps influenced by the fact that neighboring states New Jersey and Pennsylvania are already offering hugely popular sports betting options.

Maryland is a sports-loving state, so it makes sense why locals would want to gamble on sports so much. For those who are struggling to stay patient and want legal sports betting options, we would suggest you travel to a nearby legal state to bet as opposed to wagering with offshore bookmakers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have questions about the sports betting options available in Maryland or the other legal gambling options in the state? Below, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions about Maryland’s gambling industry so that you can be certain to bet safely and legally.

Is online gambling and sports betting legal in Maryland?

While sports betting is not yet legal in Maryland, there are some forms of online gambling that are legal. Players in the Pine Tree State are free to wager on horse racing online as well as play DFS. It’s likely too that once sports betting is legalized, bets will be able to be made online.

What is the Maryland legal gambling age?

There are two minimum gambling ages in Maryland. The minimum gambling age for the lottery, DFS and horse race betting is 18 years old. The minimum gambling age to play casino games such as slots and table games is 21 years old. It is likely that the minimum age to gamble on sports betting once legal will also be 21.

Are offshore bookmaker sites legal and safe?

No, offshore bookmakers are neither legal nor safe. These offshore betting sites operate without licensing and regulation in Maryland, meaning that there is no way to prove that they are fair or are protecting players’ from predatory interests.

Can I play at a Maryland online sportsbook if I am not in the state?

Although there is currently no legal Maryland online sportsbook, when there is, you likely won’t be able to play it out of state. This is a fairly standard law that is adopted by operators in neighboring state New Jersey. When using online apps, operators will first verify your location. If you’re out of state lines, you’ll be blocked.

Can I use the FanDuel or DraftKings app in Maryland?

Yes, you can use FanDuel and DraftKings in Maryland. However, you can only use them to access their daily fantasy sports offerings. It is likely that once mobile sports betting is legalized in the state, Marylanders will be able to use either as their legal Maryland sports betting app of choice.

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