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Gambling in Maryland - All You Need to Know in February

Maryland kicks off with Online Gambling in February 2023

Last Updated on 02/03/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Everything that you need to know about Maryland Gambling can be found right here in this article. From online sports betting to land-based casinos and poker rooms – we’ve covered it all.

Of course, the main headline here is that online sports wagering is now legal and live in Maryland. Naturally, we will focus on this in some detail, but we’ll also take a look at the current situation with regard to all aspects of gambling in the Old Line State.

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A quick history of gambling in Maryland

Maryland has very much had an on-off relationship with all forms of gambling. There have been multiple times throughout history when gambling bans have been introduced only to be lifted a few years later. Similarly, there have also been occasions when the state has introduced more liberal laws only to then restrict them further down the line.

This started back in 1871, when lotteries were legalized in MD, so long as the proceeds went to causes deemed to be good and charitable. In 1934, lotteries were then made completely illegal.

More recently, we have the Free State’s tumultuous relationship with slot machines. The restrictions on slot machines were lifted in 1943, only for them to be banned again 20 years later in 1963. Then in 2008, they were legalized once more with land-based casino passes being reinstated via a referendum four years after that in 2012.

What’s the current state of Maryland gambling?

So is it legal to gamble in Maryland now? As is the case in most of the US, Maryland is taking an increasingly liberal attitude towards gambling. Since 2008, the only laws that have come into place have been to lift bans, rather than reinstate them. More importantly, modern opinions about gambling suggest that it is highly unlikely that any new liberal gambling laws will become restricted in the future.

For the most part, the age for gambling in Maryland is 21. This applies to most legal forms of gambling including retail and online sports betting, as well as retail casinos. The only exception to this rule is the lottery, which Marylanders can play legally from the age of 18.

The vast majority of you reading this will likely have come here for information about mobile and online gambling in the Old Line State. Since the federal ban on gambling was lifted back in 2018, there has been a domino effect of US states deciding to legalize and regulate some forms of online gambling. Below, we will take a look at the current legal state of the most popular forms of online betting.

Maryland sports gambling online

First and foremost, let’s address the big one – online sports betting. A bill legalizing both online and retail sports gambling in Maryland was signed back in May 2021. The bill permitted 60 online licenses and 30 retail licenses to be permitted in the state. As was the case in most states, retail betting shops were legalized first in early 2022. Online sports betting in Maryland was then launched in late November of the same year.

Maryland online casinos

Like in most other US states, retail casinos are legal in Maryland, with a total of six land-based casino resorts located throughout the Free State. However, real money online casinos in Maryland still remain illegal, with no legislative changes planned in the near future. The closest alternatives that you have are sweepstakes and social casinos. You can check out some of the best operators in this regard here at TheGruelingTruth.

Online poker in MD

When it comes to playing online poker in Maryland, the situation is much the same as it is for real money casinos. That is to say, online poker remains illegal, however, there are a couple of social casinos and sweepstakes sites that do have online poker rooms. We should stress that you cannot play with real money at these sites – only for fun with virtual currency. With that being said, there are some that offer prizes for certain tournaments.

Who is responsible for regulating online gambling in Maryland?

Like most states, Maryland used a pre-existing body to create the laws and regulate its online sports betting market. Both retail and online sports betting are regulated by Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA). Initially, it was the state government that created the rules for legal online sports betting, but the MLGCA then had to approve them. Now, the MLGCA is responsible for the 60 online sportsbook licenses as well as the 30 retail ones.

Top Maryland online gambling sites

The only online gambling sites that you will find in Maryland right now are online sportsbooks. Fortunately, there are plenty already available. And with permission to grant as many as 60 licenses, it’s likely that we will see plenty more go live in the very near future. Every time that a new operator goes live in the Old Line State, we will bring you a fair and honest review of both the sportsbook and its welcome bonus.

You can use the reviews found within our comparison tool to find your ideal sportsbook. For now though, let’s take a look at some of our top-rated sportsbooks in the state for fans of different types of sports betting.

Editor’s recommendation – the best betting site in MD

Our top-ranked sportsbook in Maryland right now has to be BetMGM. Fronted by Jamie Foxx, this site has a super-smooth online platform that is complimented by an even better mobile app. The risk-free bet makes for an excellent welcome offer and the odds consistently rank among the top in the whole of the US.

The best for NFL fans in Maryland

Maryland is a state that is jam-packed with NFL lovers. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of the Baltimore Ravens or the Washington Commanders – these betting sites will suit you. For NFL betting, FanDuel and DraftKings are at the top of our list. Having started life as daily fantasy sports platforms, these two premium brands have everything that you could possibly be looking for when it comes to wagering on the NFL.

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Maryland – Gambling on college sports

One of the big sticking points for many US states that have legalized retail and sports wagering is the question of college sports. Even the progressive online gambling hub of New Jersey has laws that restrict betting on college sports that take place within the state’s borders.

For Marylanders, however, there is good news here. There is nothing in the bill that restricts persons aged 21 and older in Maryland from wagering on college sports, either in-person or offline. You are therefore free to bet on sports teams from the likes of UMBC, Towson and more.

Where can I find the best bonuses for betting in Maryland?

Here on this very page, you can find valid promo codes and information about all of the welcome offers that are currently available for sports bettors in Maryland. From here, you can head straight to the operator’s site and claim your welcome promo today. Alternatively, you can make use of our bonus reviews and compare the top offers in order to find the right one for you.

Our top tips for online gambling in Maryland with real money

Now that online sports betting is legal in the state of Maryland, we want to help ensure that you have a safe and secure experience. If you follow the top tips that our experts have provided below, then you should have a safe yet fun time when wagering on your favorite sports.

Use a licensed operator

In order to be legally accessible for Marylanders aged 21 and older, online sportsbooks must hold a license from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. This is therefore the first thing that you should check for before you register an account with any site. Out-of-state and overseas licensed operators are illegal in MD.

Make use of our reviews

Maryland’s sports betting legislation permits a total of 60 licenses for online operators. Once that quota is filled, it will leave you with a lot of sportsbooks to compare. That’s why we strongly recommend that you make use of our online betting site reviews here at TheGruelingTruth. In doing so you can compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of each operator to find your ideal site.

Claim the welcome bonus

Every online sportsbook in Maryland has a welcome bonus of some kind that is available to all new players. When it comes to picking your site, you should always take the bonus into consideration. More importantly, you need to remember to claim the bonus when you register an account with your operator. For some, you will need to enter a promo code on sign-up, while others will just require you to opt in and meet certain conditions.

Use a social casino

Remember that while both retail sportsbooks and casinos are legal in Maryland, it is only sports betting that is available online. If you do want to play online slot games or poker in MD, you can do so, but only with sweepstakes or social casinos. Any online casino that claims to offer real money gambling in this state will definitely not be legit. Social casinos offer a great just-for-fun alternative, while sweepstakes casinos may even offer you the chance to win prizes.

Check back for updates

Online gambling laws in states across the US are changing quickly, and it can be tough to keep on top of things. Fortunately, when it comes to Maryland gambling, we will provide you with any legislative updates right here on this page. Changes to gambling laws in the US tend to be positive, so we recommend that you bookmark this page and revisit us from time to time to check for updates.

What does the future hold for Maryland gambling?

We can never say for sure what will happen in the future with regard to gambling laws in Maryland. One thing that we are confident in is that the new rules for legalized online and retail sports betting aren’t going to be restricted any time soon. The next thing that most of us would like to see is the legalization of online casinos and poker rooms in the Old Line State. There might be nothing in the pipeline yet, but when there is, we will be the first to let you know.

Maryland gambling – A quick roundup

We’ve given you quite a lot of information, tips, and recommendations throughout this article, so allow us to summarize quickly before you go. The key things to take away are that retail and online sports wagering are legal. Meanwhile, real-money casino gambling is only available at one of the state’s six land-based resorts. Remember to make use of our online sportsbook reviews for Maryland here at TheGruelingTruth and to check back in with us for updates.

Maryland gambling FAQ

⚖️ Is gambling legal in Maryland?

When it comes to online betting, there are two things that you want to ensure above all else. First of all, you want to be doing it legally, and second, you want to be safe. Here at TheGruelingTruth.com, you can keep on top of the legal situation where you are by using our state-by-state gambling modules.

❓ Can I bet online in Maryland?

Online gambling laws have gone through some massive changes in Maryland since November 2020, and mostly for the better. You can track the progress of the legal situation of all forms of online betting in MD here.

🏈 Can I use DraftKings in Maryland?

You can discover what sportsbooks are legally available online in Maryland right here at TheGruelingTruth.com. All of the information that is contained on this page is updated regularly. We therefore recommend that you bookmark this page.

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Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

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