Maryland online sports betting laws
Great news for the six million residents of Maryland – sports betting is right around the corner. Voters in the Old Line State cleared the way in a referendum in November 2020, and the state legislature passed enabling legislation, leading to an expected full launch in 2021.
Administrative law and government relations attorney
Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C, in 2005. She's been living in Las Vegas helping clients in the casino and gaming industry, as well as other regulated businesses, across Nevada for over 15 years.
She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on US gaming law, including most recently, The Law of Regulated Gambling: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers, American Bar Association (2020), and That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry (2020).
Is sports betting legal in Maryland?
Maryland sports betting has been authorized and is expected to commence later in 2021.
Is online sports betting legal in Maryland?
Not yet – but Maryland online sports betting is expected to go live later in 2021.
The process by which Maryland will be the last mid-Atlantic state to legalize sports betting is well under way.
In November 2020, voters passed a referendum by a margin of more than 2-1 in favor of expanded gaming, to allow for sports betting in the state. Maryland legislators followed this up with legislation to carry out voters’ wishes and introduce and regulate sports betting.
In May, Governor Larry Hogan signed HB940. The next step towards launch of sports betting in Maryland is approval of the regulations by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission, which is tentatively scheduled for July 15, 2021. After that, the application and licensing process will begin. Legislators are hopeful to have live sports betting in the state in time for the NFL season.
This means sports betting will be coming soon to a sports-mad state with a population of more than six million people.
The size of the population, and the presence of some big sports teams in the state, mean Maryland sports betting should be an extremely lucrative market.
Now that the state has passed enabling legislation, Maryland online sports betting is hoped to get under way in time for the 2021 NFL season.
Under the terms of HB940, there are up to 60 mobile sports wagering licenses available, of which there are two types:
Class A licenses, which are reserved for Maryland’s six casinos, three professional sports teams/stadiums and the Maryland Jockey Club, which includes Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course; and
Class B licenses, for other businesses with physical locations in Maryland that will be up for competitive bidding. Another seven Class B licenses are targeted for the Maryland State Fairgrounds, four off-track betting parlors and two commercial bingo halls with 200 or more machines.
Holders of both types of licenses will be eligible to apply for mobile wagering licenses. The state will revisit whether it needs to add more licenses in December 2025.
Yes, they will. The IRS has made it clear that it considers all proceeds from any form of gambling to be taxable income.
It is advised that you keep track of your winnings and declare them on your annual tax returns. Maryland already collects a proportion of lottery winnings and will inevitably do so for sports betting wins above a particular threshold.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) has been legal in Maryland for a while now. In 2012, a law was passed allowing games of this kind, which was reframed to make it more customer-friendly in 2017.
DFS fans in the state have, therefore, freedom to enjoy playing – and plenty of local top-level action to whet their appetites.
The presence of NFL stalwarts the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Football Team (who play their games in Landover, Maryland), means grid-iron is as popular here as anywhere in the US. Likewise, the fact that the Baltimore Orioles are based here keeps baseball popular.
Although the exploits of the Maryland Terrapins in the upper reaches of NCAA basketball earn them plenty of fans, it’s important to note that DFS games on college sports are forbidden in the state.
The Baltimore Ravens enjoy enormous support in the state, bolstered by Super Bowl wins in 2000 and 2012. Similarly, the Washington Football Team established their status as NFL big-hitters with three Super Bowl triumphs before the turn of the century, when they were still known as the Redskins. Football is huge in Maryland and the interest in betting on it will be equally extensive.
Even though Maryland sports betting is not a reality yet, there are already many ways in which people can enjoy other forms of gambling and gaming in the Old Line State.
As a result, there is already a focus on responsible gambling, and a number of bodies offering assistance to the small minority of people who encounter any problems:
Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling offers a wealth of information about problem gambling, including warning signs, as well as access to counselors.
The Maryland Lottery also dedicates part of its website to the importance of responsible gambling.
The Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling offers numerous resources, including training for people in the treatment of this addiction.
The Maryland Department of Health Behavioral Health Administration is another way of accessing a variety of services to help in this area.
The National Council on Problem Gambling has a presence in Maryland and offers a national helpline as well as access to a host of local resources.
Even before the overturn of PASPA, Maryland is getting ready to be one of the first states to offer sports betting. But a bill to do so fails to pass through the state senate.
Lawmakers try to push through a bill that would legalize sports betting at lottery retailers and racetracks. But the attorney general rules that a public vote is needed.
2020 - March
This time it’s the House that blocks a bill that was unanimously passed by the senate. The Covid-19 pandemic prevents any further progress.
2020 - November
65 per cent of Maryland voters approve Maryland Question 2 – a referendum to approve the expansion of commercial gaming to “authorize sports and events betting”. But legislation is still needed to define what form sports betting in the state will take.
In May, Governor Larry Hogan signs HB940, and Maryland lawmakers indicate that they hope to have Maryland sportsbooks up and running by the beginning of the 2021 NFL season or, failing that, the 2021 World Series.
As things stand, there are no locations where Maryland sports betting is legal – nor is there any registered facility for online sports betting in the state.
However, with the passage of HB490 it is expected that sports betting will be authorized at the state’s six casinos (see chart below) as well as other locations, including professional sporting and horse racing facilities, and online:
|Baltimore Horseshoe Casino||1525 Russell Street, Baltimore MD 21230|
|Berlin Ocean Downs Casino||10218 Race Track Road, Berlin MD 21811|
|Flintstone Rocky Gap Casino & Resort||16701 Lakeview Road NE, Flintstone MD 21530|
|Hanover Maryland Live Casino||7002 Arundel Mills Circle, Hanover MD 21076|
|Oxon Hill MGM National Harbor Casino & Resort||1602 Malibu Place, Newport News MD 23608|
|Perryville Hollywood Casino||1201 Chesapeake Overlook Parkway, Perryville MD 21903|
Not yet. However, the legislation passed this year in Maryland to authorize sports betting in the state does include the provision for up to 60 online licences to be awarded.
No. There are currently no legal Maryland betting sites. Some offshore operators offer services to customers within the US, but these are unlicensed. Playing with these sportsbooks carries a great deal of risk; in the event of any dispute, for instance, you will have no legal recourse.
DraftKings is one of the biggest names in Daily Fantasy Sports, which has been legal in Maryland since 2012. As a result, it is free to offer DFS to people in the Old Line State. However, the sportsbook that DraftKings has developed in recent years may not yet be offered to people in the state; there are currently no legal Maryland betting sites.
Now that sports betting has been authorized in Maryland, many of the leading operators in the world of sports betting will no doubt be interested in gaining an online betting license for the state. Cash out is a great feature offered by many sportsbooks that allows you to settle a bet early.