Maryland successfully joined the list of American states that legalized offline and online sports betting after the PASPA law was canceled in 2019. In this article, we gathered all information you may want to know before joining any local casinos, online sports betting sites, and mobile betting apps. Basically, we tried to make this guide universal: you will find here various practical tips on how to choose an online sportsbook besides local gambling rules and the best Maryland sports betting companies.
Briefly, Maryland accepts all types of sports bets: from top popular American sports to horse racing which has been in high demand among local gamblers since very old times. Besides sports, you can try your luck in official lotteries, bingo, and various casino games, like roulette, blackjack, or slots. Obviously, there are particular restrictions and nuances you need to know about, so read on to know them.
TOP 5 Maryland Sports Betting Sites
If you are not much interested in gambling laws details, you can simply check the table below: the Superbetting team made a ranking of the top sports betting sites now available in Maryland. You can safely join them as legal, officially approved platforms registered by the Maryland Lottery And Gaming Control Agency. There are definitely more online sportsbooks you can find in Maryland: at the moment, the Gaming Control Agency has issued about sixty licenses, exclusive of brick-and-mortar casinos and betting kiosks, so our rating includes the top popular and most visited once, with crystal clear reputation and the best set of services and betting options.
Maryland was not one of the first states who rushed to legalize sports betting after the PASPA law was repealed in 2019. If you are not much aware of the latest news in the US gambling industry, here is a brief explanation: The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act or simply PASPA, had prohibited sports betting on the almost whole territory of the USA since 1992. In 2019, the Supreme Court repealed the act, which allowed every state to create its own rules on sports gambling: the activity was not anymore banned on a federal level. However, it took time for most states to determine their policies on sports betting and release additional acts and laws for local bettors to celebrate legalization. Thus, it took almost two years for Maryland authorities to make things sorted out, and this is how it came about.
In March 2020, the Maryland General assembly organized a referendum dedicated to sports betting legalizations. The referendum finally took place in November and showed that more than 60% of Maryland residents were up for making sports gambling legal.
In April 2021, the sports betting bill draft was released; according to the bill, Maryland gambling authorities could issue two types of gambling licenses: A-class licenses for stadiums, brick-and-mortar casinos, and horse racing tracks, and B-class ones for private offline or online bookmakers. In May, Larry Hogan, the Governor of Maryland, signed the bill, and sports betting became officially legal. US sports betting giants like Draft Kings immediately prepared for launching in the state, and almost hundred online and brick-and-mortar casinos applied for their first Maryland sports betting licenses.
Still, you cannot call the process fully finished: although it is all settled on paper, the Maryland sports betting market has not actually started accepting first bets.
The launch date was supposed to be scheduled for the beginning of the NFL season in 2021, but it took longer than expected and the new due date might be put off for late fall or winter. However, bettors and sportsbooks are super pumped to make and accept sports bets in the nearest time as all main preparation is over now. The latest news about the process are related to October 14, when the largest brick-and-mortar casinos (MGM National Harbor, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, and Live! Casino Maryland) officially obtained their licenses from the Gaming Commissions. The casinos became partners of the US-leading sports betting giants: BetMGM, FanDuel, and Caesars Entertainment.
Gambling Tax in Maryland
While the taxation policy from the Maryland sports betting revenue is pretty clear when it comes to the tax rate for sports betting operators (sportsbooks have to share 15% of their income with the IRS), it might seem a bit complicated for gamblers. To start with, let’s determine that all sports bettors have to pay taxes from their gambling winners, no matter if they reside in Maryland or just visited the states during a vacation. If your winnings exceed $5,000, you will have to pay either 9,25% (if you are a Maryland resident) or 7,5% (if you are a non-resident). In this case, a gambling spot (a lottery, a sportsbook, or a casino) will most likely charge a tax amount automatically, so you will receive your winnings with already deducted tax. However, you will still have to file a Form 502D to pay a state tax separately: casinos do not have to charge it whatever amount you won.
If you won more than $500 and less than $5,000, you have to pay a state tax within sixty days; if your winnings are even more modest and do not exceed $500, you can pay your tax within a year. The state tax varies depending on your total annual income and marital status, but you will hardly have an issue determining your tax amount if you reside in Maryland and pay taxes regularly. Otherwise, you might check the taxation schedules on the Internet; briefly, the percentage may vary from 2% to 6%.
One of the reasons why Maryland punters are still up in the air is delays with the precise rules and restrictions. There are, of course, some common rules that are similar in most states. For instance, you can gamble if you are twenty-one or older, you have to prove your identity by sending your personal documents or coming to a casino in person, and betting on local college sports teams is regarded as illegal (in fact, you will just find no betting options on your local college teams).
Besides, you can not enjoy any sports betting activities if you are a professional athlete or your job is related to professional sports to any extent.
However, more restrictions and more rules are still yet to come: now, we have no idea of what wager types will be allowed, and if there will be some limitations in terms of particular disciplines or sports teams. For instance, some states do not allow making Proposition bets on college sports, so Maryland can release a new bill with the similar restrictions any time before launching the sports betting campaign.
What Sports are Most Popular Among Bettors in Maryland?
It is hard to predict which sports will be available at local sports betting sites: the full list is not published yet and will definitely vary depending on a sportsbook, but we can be pretty sure about some disciplines that are in high demand among locals. It will be complete nonsense if Maryland bettors will not find horse racing, American football, eSports, and top popular leagues like NBA, NHL, or MBL in bookmaker lines. Hopefully, there will be much more titles in the list, but the mentioned sports are definitely a must-have for all Maryland sports betting sites, and let us explain you why.
Must-have sports for Maryland betting sites
Daily Fantasy Sports
Our story starts with Daily Fantasy Sports that will not become a sensation for local gamblers, but may remain among the top popular gambling option for many years. Yes, this activity is not a novelty product: in fact, DFS has been the only legal sports betting option in Maryland so the new rules may even boost its popularity. If you have no idea of what Daily Fantasy Sports is, we will describe it briefly for you.
Classical fantasy sports implies you perform as a manager of a virtual football, soccer, basketball, or whatever team. Your team members are real players: for instance, to create an NBA fantasy team you pick one player from Los Angeles Lakers, another one from Chicago Bulls, etc. The other players do the same, so the essence of the competition is to collect points for your team members’ performance in their real games. For instance, your shooting guard made a three-point shooter during the latest game which brought your fantasy team six points, so in fact you bet on particular players to perform flawlessly and collect as many points as possible.
The rules are the same for daily sports: the difference is that classical fantasy sports implies a competition within the whole season, while daily fantasy has a result on the same day. You create a team daily and can win some money almost immediately after.
Although you may liken horse betting in the US to Kentucky Derby or Belmont Stakes, Maryland is also a home of the popular oldest racing tracks and events like Preakness Stakes. Maryland is historically addicted to horse racing betting and was one of the first states to establish new tracks so no wonder this gambling activity is regulated by a separate authority and was not banned by PASPA — with some limitations for online betting options, though.
There are currently five horse racing tracks and six off track betting facilities like Maryland State Fairgrounds. Besides, some punters secretly opt for offshore racebooks to make online bets, so legalization of online horse racing betting might boost the industry revenue twice or three times.
Maryland is home of Baltimore Ravens, a professional football team, two-times Super Bowl champions so it is rather predictable that bets on Ravens’ matchups will become top popular among locals unless there are any limitations on backing home teams. The team is one of the two major professional sports franchises in Maryland: the second one is the MLB Baltimore Orioles.
Besides, there is one more local football team playing for the NFL. It is the Washington Football team, also known as the Washington Redskins. Located at the Washinton metropolitan area, it is a part of the NFC East division and play their home games in Landover, Maryland. The team is regarded as one of the most successful NFL franchises, with more than six hundred victories all time.
Esports has become in high demand lately and its popularity was boosted since the pandemics began to break in traditional games schedules. Although eSports industry suffered from coronavirus, too, it still has one of the best-selling events including the ones held in Maryland. It seems that Maryland is in the beginning of the list of the states supporting eSports: it has strong cyber teams and an eSports academy, not speaking of various programs for colleges and students encouraging eSports careers and development. Thus, cyber sports betting might become very demanded among local gamblers and hopefully punters will not struggle to find decent pre-match and live betting lines when bookies finally open their doors to new visitors.
Tips for Choosing The Best MD Sports Betting Sites
While the Maryland authorities are working on elaborating betting rules system and icing the cake to burst into the sports betting market, you as a bettor have enough time to prepare and learn how to deal with sportsbooks and find the best available options. The next part of this article is dedicated to the top essential things you have to look at when choosing a sports betting site: it is not only about legality. Payment options, customer support quality, odds, selection of sports, and bonuses also matter, so don’t hesitate to check our tips on how to avoid crucial mistakes when dealing with various bookmakers. The website examples we give are related to Maryland legal betting, but if you want to wager on sports in other states, you are also welcome to read this part: our tips are valid for sportsbooks in all regions.
Legality in Maryland State
The first and actually the most important thing you have to think of before you join any sports betting site in Maryland is its legal status. Some facts from the federal gambling law: illegal sports gambling may lead to a prison sentence of up to five years and a life-long ban from all betting activities. Yes, it is very unlikely to happen unless you make tons of money on gambling and do not pay taxes, but you still risk when you break a law, agree.
Besides, opting for legal sites is also about your personal safety: when you make bets at a platform officially licensed by local authorities, you can apply to this authority in case of any issues and will be fully supported. It will not work with any offshore site, though: if a company is not registered in your state, you mess with it at your own risk and peril.
Secure and Safe Payment Options
You risk your real money when you bet on sports: you never know if your wager is a slam-dunk. However, you do not need to risk even more and must be sure that your deposit is safe and sound until you use it for your next bet. If a sportsbook has a valid gambling license, it most likely has agreements with secure payment systems including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, and more.
Besides, if you are mad about Internet anonymity, you can opt for betting sites offering cryptocurrency payment options and allowing making deposits and withdrawals in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and other alternative currencies. However, it is a bit challenging to find such options at the moment, so we will update the information when Maryland finally launches sports betting and publishes the full list of available sportsbooks.
In the table below, we made a brief review on deposit and withdrawal methods available at top popular Maryland sports betting sites so that you could instantly select the most suitable platform.
Top popular payment methods
Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Skrill
Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, PayNearMe
Visa, Mastercard, prepaid checks
Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Skrill
Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Skrill
Reliable Customer Service
Most gamblers do not think of customer support quality much until they face their first issues with payments, or website mistakes, or whatever can spoil the whole fun. So, we remind you it is essential to opt for sportsbooks with a strong professional customer service team. In an ideal scenario, a betting site member must be able to contact company’s representatives any time via a quick and convenient method.
It is typical for most modern sportsbooks to have a live chat embedded to a betting platform; some also allow sending emails, making phone calls or provide their social network links. If you have issues finding available contact options, or read many gamblers’ reviews speaking poorly on the customer support performance, think twice before you join such a betting site and trust it your money.
A rare sportsbook has its own oddsmakers; most betting sites use third-party software and it is totally normal if an odds and sports lines provider can guarantee good odds and accurate forecasts. Why is it important?
First, your possible winnings obviously depend on odds and margin excluded from your payout amounts, so if one bookmaker offers higher odds than another one, the choice is pretty straightforward.
Besides, odds are not some fixed figures and constantly change depending on the latest news related to a particular sports team or its certain members.
Sometimes you can take an advantage from a belated odds update, but you might be disappointed if it takes forever for a betting site to add new pre-match lines at lucrative price.
Finally, good odds are one of the signs of a good software provider; another sign is a selection of available sports disciplines and betting options.
Wide Range of Available Sports
Another important thing to notice: how many sports does a sportsbook embrace? Even if you are okay with a couple of major leagues, the number of available disciplines shows a high quality of a betting provider. Most likely, if the library consists of five-ten top popular sports like football, basketball, etc., you can not rely on the odds quality and interesting betting markets either.
In-Play Betting Availability
Pre-match markets are important, but live betting is even more exciting for most punters. If a sportsbook has a poor in-play wagering line and does not offer many events to select from daily, you might probably want to look elsewhere. Note, that live odds are always higher than pre-game ones, but they still must remain reasonable with margins not exceeding 10%.
Bonuses and Promotional Offers
It is not probably the best idea to rely on bonuses much to make a fortune on your sports wagering experience, but having some small gifts is always heart melting. Thus, we recommend you to notice the bonus system, too. Briefly, bonuses do not have to be ‘too good to be true’ and have adequate wagering requirements.
The most typical bonuses are a match to your deposit (for instance, a 100% first deposit bonus) or a free bet that you can use to make a wager without risking your own funds. In the table below, we gathered the best bonuses from Maryland legal sportsbooks; they also come with fair wagering requirements and transparent conditions so you can safely opt for them when you join the sites.
Bonus Maximum Size
Maryland started their way to legalizing sports betting in a comparatively quick pace. There were no issues and delays with signing new bills so most locals expected to start placing their first bets soon after the governor accepted the main legislation act. Everything is almost in order to start the new era of the Maryland gambling industry, but the process seems to slow down for some reasons. For instance, the latest meeting on sports betting was postponed which means that bettors will have to wait for more weeks or even months before they can make their first input in the local sports betting revenue. Still, we are hoping for the best, and provided most essential things be already arranged, legal sports betting in Maryland is just about to start.
Is it completely legal to bet on Sports in Maryland?
It is hard to safely say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’: new laws made sports betting in Maryland completely legitimate; still, the official launch of sports gambling has not been announced yet, and no casinos and sports betting sites currently accept bets from Maryland citizens. Still, it seems that the answer will become ultimately positive in the nearest one or a couple of months.
What are the best sports betting apps in Maryland?
According to the latest information, top American sportsbooks will launch their mobile betting apps in Maryland. Among them are the BetMGM, FanDuel, Caesars, and Australian Points Bet. As soon as sports betting officially begins, you can safely download these apps and be sure to get high quality service, competitive odds, and exciting experience.
Where can I bet on sports in Maryland?
At the moment, you can not make any sports wagers in Maryland until you dare to break the law and use some offshore sportsbooks. However, as soon as sports betting in Maryland is officially launched, bettors will have a pretty good deal of choice: they will be able to bet on sports at some retail sportsbooks, local online betting sites, and brick and mortar casinos with valid sports betting licenses.
Is Online Sports Betting in Maryland Easier Than Retail Betting?
Most bettors today opt for online betting: it has become much more in demand due to Covid-19 safety measures and is overall easier as you can make bets from any location. Still, the whole process is not significantly different in both variants, so it mainly remains a matter of taste.
Last updated on 14 Feb 2022- 13:53
Author: Harry Sunderland
As a former successful professional bettor, Harry Sunderland has developed analytical thinking skills helping him to make the right picks for sports events. His specific interest in MMA allows him to provide ... the readers with accurate ideas and create comprehensive guides and reviews on the UFC fights and combatants. Being a huge Soccer fan, Sunderland has much to tell readers about the game nuances and the most probable match outcomes.Show more
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